WILMINGTON, N.C. (UNCWSports.com) – Mason Berne homered twice for UNCW but Hofstra scored late to edge the Seahawks, 5-3, in the Colonial Athletic Association series opener on Friday at Brooks Field.
The Pride ran its record to 10-4 and 8-2 on the road this season. UNCW dropped to 14-7 overall and saw a brief three-game winning streak halted.
Hofstra junior starter John Rooney (3-1) earned the win, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out seven in seven innings. Senior reliever Chris Weiss allowed just two bases runners in the final two innings for the save, his fourth of the season, and struck out six.
Vinnie Costello was one of three Pride players with two hits, including a game-tying two-run homer in the sixth inning off UNCW starter Alex Royalty. Joining Costello with two hits were Rob Weissheier and Vita Friscia. Weissheier plated the eventual winning run with a RBI single in the eighth inning.
Austin Easter (3-1) took the loss, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Berne finished 2-for-4, hitting his fourth and fifth homer runs of the season. Zack Canada added two hits and drove in a run.
Up next: The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon.
How it happened: Hofstra’s Teddy Cillis doubled to left center to lead off the eighth inning and scored two batters later on Weissheier’s single into shallow right center.
Inside the box score: The teams combined for 27 strikeouts on the day … Hofstra plated three runs with two out and had four two-out hits … Offensively, UNCW was 1-for-9 with RISP and runners on base … The Seahawks landed their leadoff hitter on base four times, including twice on Berne homers.
Notes: The loss was the first for the UNCW bullpen, which entered the series with a 10-0 record … Royalty struck out a season-high batters … It was his third career game of 10+ strikeouts … Ryan Jeffers saw hit eight-game hitting streak halted … Zack Canada extended his on-base streak to 16 consecutive games and his hitting streak to eight games.