UNCW baseball captures CAA Championship, earns automatic spot in NCAA Tournament

The UNCW baseball team claimed its seventh CAA Championship title Sunday as it defeated Northeastern 5-4.

The top-seeded Seahawks started fast and never looked back in Sunday's championship matchup, scoring three first-inning runs as Dillion Lifrieri and Tanner Thach recorded back-to-back solo home runs. Outfielder Trevor Marsh drilled in another run on a ground ball moments later.

Junior Jac Croom continued his strong season by hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth to extend the Seahawks' lead to 5-0. The New Hanover alumnus has recorded the best season of his collegiate career this spring, earning a CAA All-Conference first-team selection.

Northeastern earned one run in the eighth before loading the bases and setting up a game-tying scenario. Junior pitcher Brett Banks entered the game and secured a third-out strikeout.

The Huskies wouldn't go without a fight as Mike Sirota hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to make it 5-4. UNCW secured the win with a third out moments later.

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The win marks the first time since 2019 that UNCW has claimed a CAA Title and guarantees the team a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Seahawks recorded a perfect 3-0 CAA title run, pushing past Delaware 3-0 on Wednesday before battling back to defeat Northeastern in dramatic fashion on Saturday. The Huskies defeated Elon in Game 9 on Sunday before advancing to the Championship game on the same day.

This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: UNCW baseball wins 2023 CAA Championship, qualifies for NCAA Tournament