Tribe drops weekend series against No. 24 UNC Wilmington

RYAN GOODMAN // THE FLAT HAT Junior pitcher Nate Knowles had a strong start on Friday, throwing five innings while striking out nine.

Friday, April 26 to Sunday, April 28, William and Mary baseball (26-18, 9-9 CAA) dropped a home series to No. 24 North Carolina Wilmington (28-16, 14-4 CAA), winning Saturday’s matchup but losing the series 2-1 at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg, Va. 

Friday’s matchup was the closest battle of the weekend, resulting in a 5-4 Tribe loss. Junior Nate Knowles started on the mound for the Green and Gold, striking out nine through five innings of work. He allowed two hits, three runs and two walks. Knowles held UNCW scoreless until the third inning, when an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Aiden Evans scored redshirt senior infielder Jac Croom. The fourth inning was solid for the Tribe’s offense, when senior catcher Nate Goranson and junior outfielder Christian Rush hit back-to-back RBI singles, taking the first and only lead of the day for the Tribe, 2-1. Sophomore Mark Hindy came to the mound for William and Mary in the top of the sixth, where UNCW scored three, taking back the lead it held through the rest of the game. The visitors scored one more run in the seventh and despite some momentum from the Tribe in the bottom of the seventh as it bridged the deficit to just one, the Tribe was not able to come back and lost the first game of the series, 5-4. 

Saturday’s matchup was a quick and efficient victory for the Tribe, evening the series. Graduate student Zack Potts was credited with the win, throwing seven innings and holding UNCW to just one run, while junior Carter Lovasz earned the save. Saturday’s victory marked the Tribe’s second ranked win of the season, the first being an April 9 win against No. 7 Duke. UNCW scored its only run of the day in the first inning, a solo homerun from Croom getting the visitors on the board. The Tribe responded in the bottom of the first after a double from freshman first baseman Anthony Greco scored Goranson and graduate student outfielder Ben Parker, giving the Green and Gold an early 2-1 lead. In the second inning, William and Mary scored one more unearned run, and in the fifth inning, after fifth-year outfielder Joe Delossantos singled and an untimely UNCW error, Parker scored again and William and Mary took a 4-1 lead that it held through the rest of the game. This victory marked Lovasz’s fourth save of the season and the 16th of his career. 

In the series finale on Sunday, UNCW took a decisive win, claiming the series with an 18-6 final score. UNCW was in total control of the rubber match, starting strong with two home runs: one from Croom, and then a grand slam to right field from sophomore infielder Brock Wills. In the top of the second inning, UNCW scored three more thanks to defensive errors from the Tribe. In the bottom of the third, the Tribe managed to push across two runs. However, UNCW responded with a massive fourth inning, scoring six more and extending its lead to 15-2. In the fifth, Delossantos and graduate student infielder Luca Trigiani both homered, bringing the deficit to just ten, but the UNCW offense was too strong, controlling the final innings and ending on top with a final score of 18-6, securing the series win. 

The Tribe will travel to face No. 12 North Carolina (33-11, 17-7 ACC) Wednesday, May 1 at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.


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