Diamond Hawks earn key non-conference win over nationally ranked Tar Heels

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Gavin Stupienski and Nick Feight hit back-to-back home runs as part of a four-run first inning for the UNCW baseball team on Wednesday night to spark a 6-2 victory over nationally ranked North Carolina at Brooks Field.

The Seahawks gained a split of the home-and-home series and improved to 34-11 overall and 29-3 at their home ball park. North Carolina, meanwhile, dropped to 31-18 with the loss.

Gavin Stupienski homered twice for UNCW on Wednesday. Photo courtesy- UNCW Athletics.
Gavin Stupienski homered twice for UNCW on Wednesday. Photo courtesy- UNCW Athletics.

Stupienski finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three knocked in, while Feight added his team-leading 17th home run of the season.

After Stupienski and Feight went deep in the first, Zack Canada finished the rally with a two-out RBI single for the 4-0 lead.

Reliever Taylor Hyssong (2-0) picked the win with three innings out of the bullpen. Starter Whitman Barnes limited the Tar Heels to two hits and three walks, while striking out four in four innings of shutout baseball. Jared Gesell also nailed down his fifth save of the season.

With the four-run lead, Steven Linkous added to the cushion with an RBI single in the fourth, while Stupienski launched his second homer of the game – a solo shot in the fifth – to make it 6-0 in favor of the Seahawks.

UNCW landed its leadoff hitter on base in seven innings. The Seahawks were 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, but North Carolina was just 2-for-14 when runners in scoring position. The teams also combined to strand 25 runners on base.

The Seahawks visit James Madison on Friday for the start of a three-game series in Harrisonburg, Virginia. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.