Fall Report: UNC Wilmington

Fall Report

CONWAY, S.C. — A new era is underway at UNC Wilmington, but in many important ways it feels a lot like the old era — and that’s a good thing. After 28 years at the helm, Mark Scalf retired at the end of the 2019 season, handing the keys over to his longtime righthand man Randy Hood, who had served as Scalf’s assistant since the fall of 2001, helping guide the Seahawks to 10 regionals and 14 top-three finishes in the CAA in 17 years. It’s been a seamless transition that has provided valuable continuity for a consistent top-50 program.

“It’s been fun. I’ve had to do a lot more things that I didn’t have to, the speaking stuff and extra meetings, extra emails. But it’s been fun so far,” Hood said. “I’ve got a good staff and a good ops guy who can help me out a lot. I still am really involved in the recruiting, still love doing that. We meet every week and talk recruiting, I go on the road still. But I’m excited and looking forward to just keep competing in the springtime.”

Don’t expect a dramatic overhaul of UNCW’s winning formula; the Seahawks will still be an aggressive offensive team, and Hood will still give his hitters plenty of green lights on 3-0 counts and set them loose on the basepaths. The biggest difference from a year ago is that Wilmington looks deeper and more experienced on the mound. This could be UNCW’s best pitching staff in years.

It helps a great deal to have four proven starting pitchers back in righthanders Luke Gesell (5-5, 3.59), Landen Roupp (6-3, 3.47) and Gage Herring (0-6, 5.30) plus lefty Zarion Sharpe (3-3, 4.21). …

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