JU (0-2) scored a run in fourth and took its first lead (3-2) with a two-run fifth but three consecutive errors to lead off the sixth allowed UNCW (2-0) to take the advantage for good.
“You can’t help but be frustrated when you battle back to take the lead and then shoot yourself in the foot in the very next inning,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “If we are going to be successful, we have to be able to play good defense and that didn’t happen. Fortunately for us, tomorrow is another day and we can try to bounce back and salvage this weekend.”
Junior Matt Tomshaw (0-1) was tagged with the loss despite allowing only two earned runs (six runs total) with a walk and a strikeout in 5.1 innings of work.
Thomas Jones (1-0) notched the win for the Seahawks after allowing only one run on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.2 innings of relief. Cameron Roth got the no-decision after allowing three runs on three hits with four walks and a strikeout in 4.1 innings. Bryan Booth came on to hurl a perfect ninth for his first save.
Senior second baseman Chuck Opachich led the Dolphin offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
Michael Bass led UNCW by going 3-for-5 with an RBI while Michael Rooney, Andrew Caine (two RBI) and Grayson Evans each finished with multiple hits.
UNCW took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third when Cain hit a two-run double down the left field line with two outs.
JU got on the board with a run in bottom of the fourth after Opachich scored from third on a throwing error. Opachich led off the inning with a single to right field and then advanced to second when junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins drew a walk. With one out, Opachich stole third but the throw from catcher Cody Stanley rolled into left field to allow a run to score.
The Dolphins took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Opachich hit a two-run single to right field.
Junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo led off the inning with a single to center and then advanced to second when junior catcher Alex Swenson drew a walk. With one out, sophomore third baseman Jimmy Howick drew a walk to load the bases until Opachich dropped a ball into right.
The Seahawks took a 7-3 lead in the top of the sixth after scoring five runs on four hits while taking advantage of three Dolphin errors.
The Dolphins cut the margin to 7-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Hawkins hit an RBI single up the middle with two outs.
JU made it a 7-5 deficit in the eighth when Perozo pulled an RBI ground out down the third base line to score senior first baseman Alex Martinez from third.
The Seahawks would add an insurance run in the ninth when Evans hit an RBI single through the right side.
The two teams will complete the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium. The contest can be followed through live stats on JUDolphins.com.