UNCW Baseball plays ‘one of best games’ this year


WILMINGTON, North Carolina (UNCWSports.com)Nick Feight had three hits and starting pitcher Alex Royalty struck out 10 as UNCW knocked off James Madison, 6-2, in the first game of a Colonial Athletic Association series on Friday at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks raised their record to 14-18 overall and 3-4 in the league while the Dukes dropped to 18-15 and 3-7.

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Feight led the Seahawks, who finished with 14 hits on the night. He drove in two runs and scored once. Adding multi-hit games for UNCW were Casey Golden, Terence Connelly, Brian Mims, Ryan Jeffers and Mason Berne.

Royalty (5-2) earned the win, limiting JMU to two runs on four hits and a pair of walks in seven innings. Reliever Austin Easter struck out three and retired all six hitters he faced for his second save of the season.

Fox Semones ruined Royalty’s bid for a shutout with a two-run homer, his second of the season, as the Dukes narrowed their deficit to 3-2 in the top of the seventh.

Brandon Withers (5-2) took the loss, allowing three runs on nine hits, walked none and struck out three in six innings.

Up next: The series continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start.

How it happened: UNCW jumped to a 2-0 lead after two innings and never trailed in the game. Jeffers capped a two-out rally with a RBI single in the first inning and Robbie Thorburn pushed the lead to 2-0 in the second with a sacrifice fly.

Home Runs: JMU: Semones (off Royalty in the seventh inning, one on, two out)

Inside the box score: Royalty and Easter combined to throw first-pitch strikes to 28-of-32 batters faced … JMU managed one two-out hit and went 0-5 with RISP … Two of Feight’s hits game with RISP.

Notes: Royalty has now struck out 22 hitters over his last 15 innings … UNCW plated three runs over its final two at bats … Mason Berne scored twice … The Seahawks are 11-1 when scoring first.