UNC-Wilmington entered the CAA Baseball Tournament as the No. 1 seed. It left, unsurprisingly, as the tourney champs, defeating No. 3-seeded Delaware on Saturday night 10-8 at James Madison University, securing a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Seahawks had hoped to eliminate Delaware earlier Saturday, but lost 11-9, which forced a winner-take-all game later in the double-elimination tournament. With the win, they now advance to the postseason for the first time since 2008 and just the fifth time in program history.
And thank the bats for that. UNC-Wilmington tallied 16 hits en route to its narrow two-run win. With the game tied at eight heading into the top of the ninth inning -- Delaware also finished with 12 hits and eight runs -- Hunter Ridge scored off a double from Thomas Pope, to give the Seahawks the lead. Moments later, Pope would score following a sacrifice fly Jake Koenig.
In the bottom half of the ninth, reliever Kelly Secrest came in, retiring the Blue Hens and ending the contest to notch the save and preserve the "W."