PEMBROKE – Home-standing UNCP put together its third-straight multi-hit game of the season and broke open an otherwise close game with five runs in the eighth inning to complete a two-game series sweep of Chowan with a 9-2 win over the Hawks on Wednesday at Sammy Cox Field.
Brad Bridgeman doubled, singled twice and scored three times to highlight a 3-for-5 outing at the plate for the Braves (5-0), while senior Aaron Parnell and newcomer Drew Cole registered a pair of hits as well. Josh Catalano (2-for-4) tallied the only multi-hit performance of the game for Chowan (3-3) who has now lost eight-straight games in the series with UNCP.
Thomas Allen (1-0) struck out four and allowed just two hits in five strong innings from the hill to book the win for UNCP, while Connor Pratt, Brantley Hattrich and Braxton Lewis each performed admirably in relief roles. Brett Garrett (0-1) took the loss for the Hawks after allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits in six innings of work.
Cole's two-run double in the bottom of the second gave the Braves the early edge, but Chowan utilized an ill-timed error from the UNCP infield in the third inning to knot things back up. Dalton Knight gave the hosts the lead for good on a RBI single through the right side with one out in the sixth, but UNCP would carry a 4-2 lead into the seventh on Cole's RBI single two batters later.
The Braves will close out a five-game home stand this weekend when they suit up to welcome Salem International (0-0) for a three-game set at Sammy Cox Field. The squads will open up the weekend with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, and conclude the series with a noon first pitch on Sunday.