Topsail’s Mason Berne homers in UNC-Wilmington baseball season opener

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WILMINGTON – Behind an 18-hit attack and back-to-back home runs from Mason Berne and Casey Golden, nationally-ranked UNCW opened the 2017 season with a 12-8 win over George Mason on Friday at Brooks Field.

Golden, Brian Mims and Nick Feight each had three hits on the game as UNCW jumped to a 9-4 lead it would not relinquish. Six Seahawks had multiple hits in the game. Kennard McDowell led the Seahawks with three runs batted in while Mims, Berne and Terence Connelly knocked in two apiece.

UNCW sent nine hitters to the plate in a four-run fifth inning to take a 9-4 lead. McDowell supplied a two-run single to power the frame. Connelly and Mims contributed an RBI triple and RBI single, respectively.

The Seahawks scored a runner from third with less than two outs on six occasions.  Starter Alex Royalty (1-0) picked up the win after allowing four runs, three earned, over five innings. Austin Magestro earned the save after retiring eight of the 10 batters he faced.

Connelly collected his fourth career triple in the big fifth inning. McDowell worked a 13-pitch at bat before doubling in the fourth inning.

The Seahawks host VMI, an 11-5 winner over Appalachian State earlier in the day, at 2 p.m on Saturday.