WILMINGTON, N.C. - An error allowed the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning as the #24 UNC Wilmington Seahawks edged the VMI Keydets, 4-3, in NCAA baseball action Saturday at the Hughes Bros. Challenge in Wilmington, N.C.
With two outs in the eighth and the game tied at 3, preseason All-American Brian Mims walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Jack Gomersall. Another preseason AA, Nick Feight, hit a grounder slightly to the left of shortstop Jacob Jaye. The ball tipped off of Jaye's glove and rolled into short center field, allowing Mims to score easily to make it a 4-3 game. The Keydets got the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the ninth, but Matt Dunlevy grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game.
The unearned run spoiled an excellent day for the combination of Gomersall and Matt Eagle, who combined to hold UNCW to just two hits over eight combined innings.
Gomersall took the loss despite not allowing a hit over two relief innings, while reliever Austin Warren pitched three one-hit innings to go to 1-0 and Clark Cota earned the save.
Offensively, Matt Pita and Dunlevy finished with two hits apiece to lead VMI.
The starting pitchers both threw well, despite neither getting a decision. Eagle allowed three runs on two hits and four walks over six innings, while Josh Roberson gave up three runs, one earned, over five innings.
UNCW (2-0) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Robbie Thorburn singled, stole second and scored on back to back fly balls to give the home team the early lead.
The Keydets tied it in the fourth. Matt Pita led off with a hustling double to left and one out later, scored on a single by Jaye to knot the score at 1.
A two-run homer by Casey Golden gave UNCW a short-lived 3-1 lead in the fourth, but Dunlevy reached on an error with two outs in the fifth. Tyler Tharp then followed with a two-run blast to right to knot the score again, 3-3, and provide the final runs before the late game drama.