Alex Royalty strikes out 12 in victory over N.C. Central

WILMINGTON (UNCW) - Alex Royalty struck out 12 over eight scoreless innings and Mason Berne collected three hits and drove in two as UNCW blanked North Carolina Central, 3-0, on Friday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks snapped a six-game losing skid and improved to 12-16 while the Eagles dipped to 15-16 with their second straight loss.

Royalty (4-2) scattered three hits and walked none while posting a new career high for strikeouts. His eight innings were also a career-long for the Raleigh, N.C., native.

Austin Easter struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his first career save.

Berne held game-high honors with three hits while Kennard McDowell added two, including his three home run of the season leading off the Seahawk fifth inning.

NCCU starter Devin Sweet (3-3) allowed two runs on five hits and a pair of walks in five innings. He finished with five strikeouts.

Evan Holland paced NCCU with two hits on the night.

Up next: The series continues in Durham with a 6 p.m. start at the Durham Athletic Park.

How it happened: Berne opened the scoring in the second inning with a single through the left side that score Ryan Jeffers, who opened the inning with a single. A walk to Riley Zayicek one batter later moved Jeffers into scoring position.

Home Runs: NCCU: none; UNCW: McDowell 3 (off Sweet leading off the fifth inning)

Inside the box score: Royalty was in command from the first inning, allowing just one leadoff hitter to reach safely ... NCCU went 0-9 with two outs and 0-8 with RISP.

Notes: Royalty dropped his ERA from 4.05 to 3.38 with his eight scoreless innings ... Brian Mims and Nick Feight saw their consecutive games on base streak halted at 22 and 21, respectively ... Feight's 11-game hitting streak also was snapped ... The last Seahawk to strikeout 12 in a game was Mat Batts (at William & Mary, Apr. 4, 2014) ... UNCW's last shutout came against Campbell in 2014 ... Easter became the third Seahawk to post a save this season.