In their inaugural CAA Tournament game, the second-seeded Charleston baseball team defeated UNC Wilmington, 7-4, on Thursday afternoon in Wilmington, N.C. to advance to the semifinal round of the championship.
Playing as the lower seed and therefore the visitors on their home field, the third-seeded Seahawks got on the board early, as UNCW’s Corey Dick launched a two-run homer in the top of the first inning.
UNCW’s starting pitcher, Jordan Ramsey, kept the Cougars at bay throughout the early innings, striking out four batters through the first two innings.
Charleston broke through in the bottom of the fourth when Ben Boykin hit his second home run of the season to cut the lead to 2-1.
The fifth inning saw runs abound, with UNCW adding two runs in the top of the inning to take a 4-1 lead before Charleston delivered a big bottom of the inning. Blake Butler knocked in an RBI double before Carl Wise drove a three-run homer out to left field to give the Cougars a 5-4 advantage, which chased UNCW’s Ramsey out of the game.
After a leadoff double by Brandon Murray, Nick Pappas extended the Charleston lead to 6-4 with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh.
Blake Butler added a sacrifice fly after a triple by Brandon Glazier in the eighth inning to increase the Cougars’ lead to 7-4.
Cougars’ starter Taylor Clarke settled down after a shaky start, going seven quality innings and giving up four runs on six hits with seven strikeouts. Eric Bauer pitched a scoreless eighth and Michael Hanzlik closed out the win in the ninth.
Charleston will next play on Friday at noon against the top-seeded William & Mary in a rematch of their epic regular season finale last weekend. A live broadcast of Friday’s game can be found online at CAA.tv and locally on ESPN 910 radio.