Diamond Hawks use the long ball to beat Tribe 11-1

WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Behind four home runs and six innings of one-run baseball from starter Alex Royalty, UNCW cruised past William & Mary, 11-1, in the first of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series on Friday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks evened their record at 10-10 while the Tribe dipped to 12-9. It was the conference opener for both teams.

Casey Golden opened the home run parade with a leadoff round tripper, his eighth of the season, in the first inning. UNCW then saw back-to-back-to-back home runs off the bats of Nick Feight, Mason Berne and Ryan Jeffers in a five-run third inning as UNCW built a 5-0 lead. Feight finished with three runs batted on the night while adding a single later in the game. Berne held game-high honors with three hits while Golden added two hits of his own.

Royalty (3-1), struggled in the first inning, but sailed into the sixth inning before losing his shutout bid on home run by Hunter Smith. The righthander tied his career-high with seven strikeouts and scattered four hits over his six innings.

Smith was the only Tribe player with a multi-hit game, finishing 2-for-2.

Starter Nick Brown (2-2) was tagged with the loss, allowing all 11 runs, eighth earned, on nine hits and a pair of walks in five innings.

Up next: The series continues with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday. Logan Beehler (1-3) will make the start for the Seahawks while the Tribe turns to Bodie Sheehan (4-1).

How it happened: Leading 1-0 going into the bottom of the third, Feight belted his seventh homer of the season with two men on for a 4-0 lead. Berne then followed with his fifth of the season to centerfield and Jeffers hit his first of the season to complete the scoring and give UNCW a 6-0 lead.

Home Runs: WM: Smith (off Royalty in the sixth inning, bases empty, one out); UNCW: Golden (off Brown in the first inning, leadoff), Feight (off Brown in the third, two on, one out), Berne (off Brown in the third, bases empty, one out), Jeffers (off Brown in the third, bases empty, one out)

Inside the box score: The Seahawks were 3-for-8 with RISP and landed their leadoff hitter on base four times ... W&M finished 0-for-3 with RISP and only got its leadoff hitter on base once ... UNCW plated a runner from third base and less than two outs, three times ... There was only one, two-out hit on the night (Golden).

Notes: Golden has now twice led off games with home runs (Towson, Apr. 20, 2014) ... UNCW tied a season high with four home runs ... Brian Mims extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first inning single ... Golden also extended his hitting streak to a career-best 11 games ... Mims (15), Feight (14) and Golden (13) all extended their on-base streaks ... UNCW improved to 6-0 when scoring 10+ runs in a game ... The Seahawks have raised their team batting average to .264, a jump of 26 points over the last six games.