WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNCW's baseball team opened the season by beating Eastern Kentucky on Friday, edging the Colonels 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the ninth inning at Brooks Field.
After EKU scored two runs in the top of the eighth to tie the score, Seahawks freshman Noah Liles hit a fielder's choice that scored Zack Canada for the game-winning run in UNCW's final at-bat.
It was the Seahawks' 10th consecutive season-opening victory.
Kep Brown and Greg Jones each had two hits to lead UNCW's offense and Brown and Cole Weiss each recorded doubles for the home team's only extra-base hits. Jones stole two bases for the Seahawks, who scored three times in the bottom of the third inning to overturn a 2-1 Colonels lead.
Reliever Clark Cota earned the win, working a perfect top of the ninth and striking out two of the three batters he faced. Alex Royalty started for UNCW and gave up two earned runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked one.
Justin Walke fanned four EKU batters in two spotless innings of relief before Austin Warren gave up the tying runs on Tyler Romanik's two-run home run in the eighth.
Casey Collins took the loss for Eastern Kentucky, allowing an unearned in five innings. Starter Aaron Ochsenbein pitched three innings for the Colonels, surrendering four runs -- three earned -- on seven hits.