WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Kennard McDowell had two hits, including his first home run of the season, but Florida Gulf Coast University was able to fend off several late UNCW charges to win the opening game of this weekend's series, 5-3, on Friday at Brooks Field.
The Eagles upped their mark to 8-2 with their fourth straight win while the Seahawks dropped to 3-5 with their fifth consecutive loss.
Corey Fehribach paced the FGCU lineup with three hits, including a two-run single in the sixth to give the Eagles a 4-1 lead. Jake Smith, who finished with two hits, homered and drove in two runs.
FGCU starter Garrett Anderson (1-0) went five innings for the win while striking out six.
UNCW reliever Jordan Bissette (0-1) took the loss. Both batters he faced in the sixth inning reached base and came around to score.
Ryan Jeffers added two hits for UNCW.
Up next: The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start. Josh Roberson (0-0, 2.70 ERA) will make his third start for the Seahawks while Kutter Crawford (2-0, 2.25 ERA) takes the mound for FGCU.
How it happened: Bissette opened the sixth inning surrendering a leadoff single and walking the next batter. Later in the inning, Smith would give the Eagles a 2-1 lead with a RBI single and Fehribach singled the final two runs of the three-run FGCU sixth inning.
Home Runs: FGCU – Smith 1 (4th inning off Royalty, none on, two out); UNCW – McDowell 1 (7th inning off Gray, one on, one out)
Inside the box score: Both teams struggled with RISP, FGCU (2-14) UNCW (1-7) … UNCW went 0-4 with the bases loaded … Royalty allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in four innings but the inning he didn't, FGCU hit a two-out homer … The bottom two hitters in the UNCW lineup had four of UNCW's five hits.
Notes: UNCW's five-game losing streak is the longest since a five-game drought during the 2012 season … Robbie Thorburn extended his modest hitting streak to four games … UNCW starter Alex Royalty tied his career high with seven strikeouts … Austin Easter struck out four in 2.1 innings of relief for UNCW.