Diamond Hawks clinch first-round tournament bye with win over James Madison

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Terence Connelly drove in the go-ahead run in a three-run eighth inning for UNCW as the Seahawks clinched second place in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) with an 8-7 win over James Madison on Thursday at Brooks Field.

UNCW halted a four-game losing streak with the win and improved to 34-16 overall and 16-6 in the CAA. The Dukes dropped to 18-31 and 6-16 with the loss.

The UNCW baseball team snapped a four game skid on Thursday. Photo courtesy- UNCW sports
The UNCW baseball team snapped a four game skid on Thursday. Photo courtesy UNCW sports.

The Seahawks clinched a first-round bye with the win in next week’s CAA Tournament and play at noon May 21 in Charleston, South Carolina, at Patriots Point.

UNCW erased a four-run deficit in the sixth with four runs and struck again in the eighth with three runs to turn a 6-5 deficit into an 8-6 lead. Luke Dunlap and Corey Dick doubled to open the inning to tie it and Connelly singled to centerfield to score pinch runner Brian Mims with the go-ahead run. The third and final run came across the plate on a wild pitch.

Dunlap had three hits, including two doubles, scored twice and drove in two to lead the Seahawk lineup. Corey Dick knocked in four runs, including three on his fifth home run of the season. Steven Linkous added two hits and stole three bases.

Jordan Ramsey (7-2) picked up the win in relief, while Will Shepley notched his second save of the season, striking out two of the four batters he faced in the ninth, with UNCW clinging to a one-run lead.

The series continues on Friday with a 6 p.m. start.