UNCW baseball team loses lead in CAA opener, ECU sweeps UMBC
 

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HARRISONBURG, VA (UNCW) -- Connor Brown’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted James Madison to a 6-5 win over visiting UNCW in the Colonial Athletic Association season opener on Friday at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Dukes, who halted a five-game skid, improved to 9-14 with the conference opening win while the Seahawks fell to 11-13 with their second straight loss.

JMU’s Kevin Husum (2-0) earned the win in relief by escaping a bases-loaded, no out jam in the ninth for JMU. Husum also led the JMU lineup with four hits before coming into the game in relief in the ninth inning. Connor Brown added three hits for the Dukes, who rallied from a 5-0 deficit over the final four innings. Kelly Secrest (5-2) was saddled with the loss coming out of the bullpen for the Seahawks.

Offensively for UNCW, Casey Golden, Ryan LaGrange and Robbie Thorburn each had two hits.

How it happened: In the ninth, Secrest got the first out of the inning, but walked Tyler Carroll. Husum followed with a single to right that sent Carroll around to third. UNCW walked Ty McFarland to set the stage for Brown who singled through the hold.

Inside the box score: The Seahawks were 5-for-16 with runners on base and left just four runners stranded … Three of those runners came in the ninth when UNCW loaded the bases, but failed to plate a run … UNCW allowed the leadoff hitter to reach safely just once all night.

Notes: The Seahawks dropped to 1-4 on the road this season while the Duke improved to 6-7 at home … JMU reliever Patrick Toohers limited the Seahawks to a run one two hits over three innings … Mat Batts fanned eight hitters marking the fifth time this season he’s fanned seven or more … Secrest allowed his first inherited runner to score this season and now has stranded 11-of-12 inherited … Golden extended his hitting streak to nine games while LaGrange pushed his on base streak to 16 games.

Next up: The series continues on Saturday with another 6:30 p.m. start from Veterans Memorial Park.

Click the play video icon to see our game highlights from UNCW-JMU.

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GREENVILLE, NC (ECU) -- For the third-straight weekend, East Carolina (16-11) completed a doubleheader sweep of an opponent, this time in non-conference action defeating UMBC (5-13) 13-3 in game one and 6-0 in game two. Game three of the series will be played on Sunday, Mar. 30 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Reid Love (2-1) capped of the sweep tossing a complete game, six-hit shutout with a season-high six strikeouts. The left-hander from Dunnellon, Fla., who faced 33 batters and retired the side in order four times, ended four innings with a strikeout and didn't allow a base runner past second base.

Luke Lowery staked the Pirates to an early 2-0 lead in the second when he blasted his first homer of the season (fifth career) sending a 0-1 offering from Mac Gill over the left field wall.

Gill (1-2) took the loss allowing all six runs (four earned) in five innings on 10 hits. The Retrievers used a trio of hurlers from their bullpen over the next three frames, all of which tossed scoreless innings of relief.

ECU added a run in the third when Drew Reynolds scored on Bryce Harman's double play ball, extending the lead to 3-0.

In the fourth stanza, Zach Houchins' two-out single highlighted a three-run frame pushing the lead to 6-0. Charlie Yorgen and Hunter Allen led off with consecutive singles before Garrett Brooks loaded the bases with a walk. A wild pitch easily scored Yorgen before Houchins' two-RBI base knock through the left side plated Allen and Brooks capping the frame.

Love retired the leadoff hitter in eight of nine frames and the first two batters in seven stanzas, while issuing two hits in the first and eight innings.

Offensively, the Pirates pounded out 11 hits with all nine starters collecting at least one. Allen and Houchins each had two base hits to lead the way, while Houchins and Lowery drove in two runs.

GAME ONE RECAP
The Pirates continued their hot hitting in game one posting 13-3 victory, which came off an 18-hit contest. Ben Fultz, Houchins, Reynolds and Yorgen each recorded three base knocks, while Eric Tyler added a pair of bunt singles to lead the way.

Jeff Hoffman (1-3) notched his first win of the year allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on six hits with six strikeouts in seven full innings. The right-hander allowed one hit in three of his first six frames before serving up a two-run homer to Manny Colon in the seventh.

ECU finally broke a scoreless tie in the fourth on Houchins' single back up the middle that scored Reynolds from second, who led off the frame with the first of two doubles in the contest, for a 1-0 lead.

The Pirates would go on to score multiple runs in the next four innings, including five in the sixth. Dylan Brown's sac fly in the fifth plated Tyler and Reynolds followed with an RBI single to right center pushing across Yorgen, which put the game at 3-0.

Riley Stephenson (1-3) took the loss giving up eight runs (three earned) on 13 hits in six innings of work. Shane Vlasic tossed two innings of relief where he was touched for five runs (two earned) on five hits.

In the sixth, ECU batted around extending the lead to 8-0. With the bases juiced, Yorgen reached on a fielder's choice scoring Fultz and forcing Tyler out at second. Allen followed with an RBI single to left plating Harman, before Reynolds' two-RBI double to right-center allowed Yorgen and Allen to cross home. The Pirates final run of the stanza came on Houchins' RBI double down the right field line.

The Pirates scored a pair of runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth capping the contest with 13. Yorgen had RBI singles in both frames, while Brooks, Brown and Lowery each added one.

Freshman right-hander Davis Kirkpatrick made his third appearance out of the pen allowing a run in one-third of an inning, before fellow classmate Jacob Wolfe retired two batters to end the eighth. Southpaw Nick Durazo tossed a scoreless ninth to help ECU to its fifth-straight win.

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Click the play video icon to see our game highlights from UNCW-JMU.

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