By Ethan Marsh, Reporter
WILMINGTON, NC - The UNCW Baseball team took care of business Sunday afternoon at Brooks Field over a four hour period by making it past East Tennessee State University 16-11 to cap off a sweep of ETSU over the weekend.
Over the weekend of April 15-17 covered a three-game series with East Tennessee State University at Brooks Field. The first one came on Friday with a 15-5 rout. The second one came on Saturday with a 17-7 trump behind 23 runs total. The Seahawks before today’s game including the two games just stated had a 7-game winning streak. This win streak came after a 9-9 run that included 7 losses on the road after a 6-0 start. Sunday afternoon’s matchup that was the last of the series with ETSU did not come as easy as the first two as the over empowerment did not come until the bottom of the 8th inning.
The matchup started with 7 runs by the Seahawks in the 1st and 2nd innings while ETSU scored 3. How these first two innings occurred was reminiscent of all the home games that have triumphantly went the Seahawks way by having high run innings behind great hitting of the bats and efficient defense. ETSU’s pitcher walked 4 Seahawks players in these two innings, three of them being in a row. What happened between the 3rd and 7th innings did not have any remnants of those first two innings.
ETSU had a 5-run inning inning in the 4th inning to take a 9-7 lead and then had a couple of more runs in the 7th to take a 4-run lead into the beginning of the 8th. UNCW had a scoring drought between the 3rd and 7th innings. Components of why this was happening were ETSU playing well, UNCW not playing with the vigor in their offensive play and inefficient in the defensive play especially in the outfield, and also the Umpire calling the wrong calls such as calling strikes when it really was a ball and vice versa. It would’ve been a bigger ETSU lead if the Seahawks had not caught the ball in the outfield in one of the only good plays between the 3rd and 7th innings in the 5th inning otherwise the lead would have been 2-3 runs larger.
The 8th inning was like a revival of what had been long gone since the ending of the 2nd inning. A total of 9 runs were scored in the inning by the Seahawks including two home runs which one of them was a grand slam. In the grand slam home run, the ball just barely hops over the fence. The two home runs attributed 6 of the 9 runs total as the other home run batted in a player on base as well. ETSU also had a particular defensive miscue to aid this revival in the 8th. ETSU itself did not score in the 8th and 9th innings to allow the 16-11 lead after the 9-run inning by UNCW to stand as the ending result to complete UNCW’s sweep of ETSU in a combined score of 48-23.
Junior Gavin Stupienski was the best player of the game as he made a total of three home runs, which one of the home runs was the grand slam in the 8th inning and the other home run happened in the 1st. Sophomore Brian Mims made a home run of his own in the 2nd inning before Stupienski made his 2nd one in the 2nd. Junior Daniel Stack made the 2nd home run in the 8th inning which made a 2-run play. Stack also had a double base hit in the 8th and a second score separate from his home run in the same inning. Freshman Ryan Jeffers recorded a double base hit in the 3rd. There were a total of 16 hits by the Seahawks compared to their 23 hits in Saturday’s Matchup.
This win increased the current win streak to 8 which improves their overall record to 23-9 and home record to 18-2. This game was the 3rd one of a current 7-game home-stand. The Seahawks will next play versus a rival in Campbell at Brooks Field Tuesday, April 19th at 6pm.