College of Charleston battled back from an early deficit, but UNCW pushed across the winning run with two outs in the eighth inning to take a 3-2 victory on Saturday in the second game of the series.
College of Charleston (31-15, 10-4) and UNC-Wilmington (23-22, 8-7) battled in a razor-tight game befitting the CAA’s premier programs, but it was the Seahawks that found the game-winner off the bat of Ryan LaGrange in the eighth inning.
LaGrange accounted for all of UNCW’s runs as he hit a two-out, two-run double in the first inning that scored Casey Golden and Luke Dunlap. He then came through again with two outs in the eighth with a base hit to left field that scored Dunlap.
CofC starter Bailey Ober had a no decision in his team-best eighth quality start of the season. He allowed just two runs on three hits with six strikeouts as he went six innings. Eric Bauer (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he was cruising in the eighth before suffering three two-out hits and a run.
UNCW’s Jordan Ramsey also had a no decision in a quality start. He allowed five CofC hits and two runs through six innings with five strikeouts. Cory Gantz (2-1) picked up the win with two shutout innings and Christian MacDonald (2) got his second save of the year by not allowing Charleston to tie it in the ninth.
The Seahawks took an early lead with runs in the first inning for the second-straight game. Golden knocked a single to left and moved to second on a walk to Dunlap. After a groundout advanced the runners, LaGrange doubled down the left-field line to put UNCW up 2-0.
College of Charleston responded in the top of the third inning with a leadoff single from Brandon Glazer and sacrifice bunt from Champ Rowland. Blake Butler singled to left to score Glazer and made it to second on the throw home. Ben Boykin then shot a ball under the second baseman’s glove for another RBI and the game was tied at two.
Both pitching staffs locked in and neither team had many scoring chances until the eighth inning. Bauer quickly retired the first two batters of UNCW’s eighth, but then Dunlap singled to left field and a chopper up the middle got into center field to move Dunlap to third. LaGrange came through again with an RBI to left field on the first pitch to give the Seahawks a 3-2 lead.
Carl Wise gave Charleston hope in the ninth inning with a leadoff hit. Pinch-hitter Devon Reed sacrificed him into scoring position as the tying run at second base. But MacDonald was able to induce a flyout and groundout to end the game and preserve the 3-2 win.
College of Charleston looks to take the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m., when Tyler Thornton (3-4) takes the mound against Ryan Foster (1-2). That game will be broadcast on the web at CofCSports.com through the Charleston Sports Network UStream account.