By Hank Kurz Jr.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Corey Dick homered and had three of UNC Wilmington’s 16 hits, and the Seahawks eliminated mistake-prone Army from the NCAA tournament Saturday with a 9-5 victory that ended on a bizarre triple play.
Army had three errors on the scorecard, and a couple of huge ones on the play that ended its season.
On the last play, Jon Crucitti struck out with two runners on – and both running on the pitch. Lead runner Michael Sands was caught between second and third, and third baseman Ryan LaGrange chased him back to second, where Grant Van Orden was already standing. LaGrange tagged Van Orden out, and Sands inexplicably broke for third, where LaGrange threw to catcher Drew Farber, who tagged him to complete the game-ending play.
Seahawks coach Mark Scalf, in his 22nd season, said he’d never before seen anything like the final play.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see it again,” he said, laughing.
On the field, it was somewhat chaotic.
“Bet you’ve never seen that before,” right fielder Tyler Molinaro said. “I think everyone was yelling different things at the time. No one really knew what the situation was, but just wanted to run the runner back and collect an out.
“Luckily, we got three of them.”
Only LaGrange and Farber touched the ball on the play, and first baseman Matt Keeler watched the whole thing unfold.
“We knew we had two runners strung out, and we just wanted to make sure not to throw it away or anything,” he said. “I started hollering, ‘second, then third, then second’ again. He started tagging people and fortunately it all worked out.”
The Seahawks (38-22), who scored nine runs in the first four innings, got two RBIs each from Molinaro and Keeler. They will play the loser of the night game between Virginia and Elon in an elimination game Sunday.
Army (29-23) had just seven hits, but a three-run sixth pulled the Black Knights within four at 9-5.
They left the bases loaded in the eighth, then had two on in the ninth before one play ended their season.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Joe Browning/UNCWSports.com