UNCW Downs VCU, 8-5
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 24, 2012) - Matt Campbell had three hits, including a home run, and Tyler McSwain pitched effectively into the eighth inning as UNCW beat VCU 8-5 in Thursday's second game of the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
Top-seeded and regular-season league champion UNCW improved to 36-20 and advanced to Friday's noon winners' bracket final game. The Seahawks will play the winner of Thursday's third game between second-seeded Hofstra and third-seeded Delaware.
Fifth-seeded VCU, which defeated fourth-seeded George Mason in its tournament opener Wednesday, will play later tonight in a losers' bracket game against Towson. The Rams fell to 33-24.
UNCW took control with a three-run first inning, raised the margin to 5-1 on Campbell's home run in the fifth and used a three-run rally in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead 8-3. The game included a 59-minute lightning delay during the fourth inning.
Campbell started UNCW's first-inning rally with a lead-off with a single and singled in the seventh in addition to hitting his fifth homer of the season. He also had his 19th stolen base of the year in the first.
McSwain, a senior right-hander, worked 7 1/3 innings and allowed two runs and eight hits while raising his season record 9-3. He struck out two, didn't allow a walk and hit two batters.
VCU starter Heath Dwyer took the loss and fell to 3-4 for the season. The freshman left-hander gave up six runs, five earned, in 7-plus innings. He allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked three.
Campbell stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Andrew Cain's one-out single after singling after singling sharply to center in the Seahawk first. Cain stole second and third, and he and Thomas Pope, who had walked, scored on Drew Farber's two-out double.
VCU got to within 3-1 in the second on the fifth home run of the season by Brent Mikionis before UNCW's Michael Bass singled ahead of Campbell's homer over the 400-foot sign in straightaway centerfield in the fifth.
VCU pulled to within 5-3 in the top of the eighth inning when Joey Cujas led off with a single and Chris Ayers homered as the first hitter after McSwain was lifted with one out.
UNCW scored three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when Drew Farber, Corey Dick and Bass had RBI singles.
VCU scored twice in the ninth against two Seahawk relievers. Jordan Weymouth's RBI grounder for the first out scored Paul Nice, who led off with a walk, and Joey Cujas' RBI grounder scored Bill Cullen, who had singled.
Farber had two hits and three RBI and Bass two hits in addition to Campbell's three-hit effort for UNCW.
VCU had a 12-11 advantage in hits for the game and was led by Cullen's 3-for-5 effort. Ayers and Mikionis each had singles in addition to their home runs for the Rams.