Josh Smith’s grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning lifted William & Mary to a 14-9 win over UNCW as the Tribe earned the Colonial Athletic Association’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament by winning the league tournament.
The Tribe (29-29) won the tournament after dropping their opener and rallying to win their next four games. UNCW dropped to 39-17 and now wait to hear their name called on Monday by the NCAA selection committee.
Smith, who was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, finished with seven runs batted in, while going 3-for-5 at the plate. Hunter Smith added three hits and drove in three runs.
The Tribe forced a second championship game with a 9-8 win to hand UNCW its first setback of the day within the double elimination event. Cullen Large gave William and Mary a 9-8 lead with a leadoff home run in the top of the 12th inning after the game was postponed more than 24 hours from the day prior due to weather in the area.
Large’s homer, which was his seventh of the season, completed a seven-run comeback for the Tribe to send the CAA Championship into a winner-take-all matchup on Sunday night.
UNCW’s Clay Lockamon was the tough luck loser as he dipped in the tournament finale as the lefthander allowed one run on two hits over 3.2 innings.
Zach Canada, who earned All-Tournament honors, had two hits for the Seahawks, while Nick Feight homered and drove in three runs.