Second baseman Dillon Bass went 4-for-5 and delivered the go-ahead and insurance RBIs in the seventh and ninth innings to lift UNCW to a 6-4 victory over James Madison in the second game of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
UNCW improved to 12-13 overall and 1-1 in the CAA while JMU fell to 9-15 and also 1-1 in the CAA.
Jordan Ramsey earned the win to improve to 1-2 after allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. Ryan Foster picked up his first save with three innings allowing just one hit and three walks, two as JMU tried to rally in the ninth.
Junior right-hander Chris Huffman took the loss (3-3) after allowing five runs, four earned, on 12 hits in seven innings.
Senior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) had the lone multiple-hit game for the Dukes, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run, his seventh of the season.
Bass’ four-hit effort led a 13-hit attack for the Seahawks. Designated hitter Luke Dunlap was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Right fielder Teddy Cillis added two hits.
UNCW got started in the first with a one-out infield single up the middle by shortstop Terence Connelly. He advanced to second on a groundout and scored on first basebam Corey Dick’s single that kicked off third base and all the way into the left field corner.
In the second, Dunlap led off with a single to left and stole second. He moved to third on a groundout and then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by catcher Gavin Stupienski, sliding in just ahead of the throw home.
JMU put its first run on the board in the second. Sophomore catcher Bobby San Martin (Fairfax, Va./Centreville) led off with a single flared to left. With two outs, he advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right by senior designated hitter Nick Merullo (Madison, Conn./Daniel Hand) to make it a 2-1 deficit.
In the third, McFarland greeted the first offering from Ramsey with a solo shot to right center for his seventh homer of the season. JMU kept the inning going with a single by senior second baseman Conner Brown (Richmond, Va./Godwin) and a Kyle Weston (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood) hit by pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position, San Martin drove in the go-ahead run with a grounder to the shortstop to make it 3-2.
The Seahawks bounced back in the fifth to reclaim the lead. Third baseman Ryan LaGrange singled and Dick reached on an error at shortstop to set up runners on the corners. Dunlap’s RBI single to left center tied the score and left fielder Robbie Thorburn’s fielder’s choice single gave UNCW the 4-3 lead.
In the sixth, senior right fielder Tyler Gregory (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy) socked a solo shot to right field that just stayed inside the foul pole and cleared the high fence to tie it at 4-4.
The back-and-forth scoring continued in the seventh as Dunlap doubled with one out. After a walk, Bass singled to left field with two outs to score Dunlap and make it 5-4 for UNCW.
Bass added another big two-out hit in the ninth. Thorburn drew a one-out walk and stole second. With two outs, Bass lined one just inside the left-field line for a 6-4 UNCW lead.
In the ninth, junior center fielder Kevin Husum (Panama City, Fla./Bay) drew a one-out walk and advanced on a wild pitch. After a lengthy delay to treat the mound, McFarland also walked and both moved into scoring position on another wild pitch. With two outs, Weston grounded deep into the hole at short and the long, bouncing throw narrowly got the umpire’s call for the final out.
Game three of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday.