Mason Berne gave UNCW a 6-5 win over the College of Charleston with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning Thursday at Brooks Field.
The Seahawks (33-19, 14-8 Colonial Athletic Association) came into the opener of the three-game series trailing the second-place Cougars (34-17, 14-8) by one game in the league standings.
Down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Ryan Jeffers led off by being hit by a pitch. Berne then hit the first pitch of his at-bat out of the park for his 11th homer of the season.
"(Jeffers) got on and I knew I had to be productive," said Berne. "I got a pitch I could handle and we ended up winning it."
Berne extended his streak of reaching base safely to 46 consecutive games.
Henry Ryan (2-0) was credited with the win in relief. The right-hander stranded a runner on third in the ninth inning with consecutive strikeouts.
"One thing I know is that guys are playing with a lot more confidence," said UNCW head coach Mark Scalf. "They believe in each other. That makes a big difference."
The Seahawks and Cougars continue the series Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch at Brooks Field.