Diamond Hawks win in 10th inning; into winner’s bracket

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uncw baseball wins 5.26.16
The Diamond Hawks celebrate their 10th inning victory over James Madison University. (Photo courtesy UNCW Athletics)

Zack Canada’s two-out infield single scored Gavin Stupienski with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as UNCW clipped James Madison, 5-4, to advance to Friday’s winner’s bracket game.

The top-seeded Seahawks improved to 38-15 with the win while the fourth-seeded Dukes dropped to 24-30. It was UNCW’s second straight extra-inning win over the Dukes in CAA tournament play, having also done so in 2014 with an 11-10 win at Brooks Field.

Canada finished with two hits, including a double in the fifth inning as UNCW rallied to tie the game with two runs in that inning. Kennard McDowell finished 1-for-3 and drove in those two runs in the fifth inning as UNCW erased a two-run deficit. Nick Feight posted his third four-hit game of the season, including a double and his 20th home run of the season.

Reliever Austin Magestro (5-3) earned the win with a hitless 10th inning.

Brett Johnson went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, his seventh of the season. Zach Tondi also homered with a man on in the ninth inning as he forced extra innings with his seventh round tripper of the season.

Closer Ben Garner (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing a run on two hits in 1.2 innings.

UNCW starter Ryan Foster didn’t figure in the decision in his attempt for a 13th win. The senior righthander struck out a career-high nine and did not walk a batter while holding JMU to two runs on five hits over 7.2 innings.

The Seahawks will play at noon Friday against the College of Charleston, who beat the College of William and Mary 7-2. Sophomore Alex Royalty (7-2) is slated to make the start for the Seahawks.