Baseball 2013 Game Highlight

03/09/2013 - @ Nova Southeastern Molloy

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.

SUBJECT: Frank Samluk’s No-Hitter; Pair of Come from Behind Victories Headline Wilmington Baseball Sweep over Molloy

Sophomore Frank Samluk tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in game two while classmate Matt Lopes sealed the doubleheader sweep over Molloy with a walk off single to lead Wilmington University to 6-5 and 3-2 wins on the campus of Nova Southeastern, finishing the team’s Spring Break trip to Florida.

The Wildcats (10-6) needed to make a pair of late game rallies to win each contest, scoring four runs in the eighth inning of game one before Lope hit a game-ending in the bottom of the seventh in game two. Molloy (2-12) fell for the fourth and fifth times in a row, even after getting quality starts from each starting pitcher.

Samluk’s no-hitter went quietly in game two, as the fans in attendance at the NSU Baseball Complex were fixed on the Wildcats making its comeback by scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth and the game winner with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh. The no-hitter was also overshadowed by the two runs the Wildcats gave up in the game, not typically a stat seen when talking of a no-hitter.

The only blemish on Samluk’s line in game two was a pair of hit batsmen and one walk. Samluk also had to work around three Wildcat errors, one of which was his own which led to both the Lions’ runs. His only walk and one of his hit batters happened to start the top of the sixth, which led to the two Molly runs. The Lions wanted to move the runners up, laying down a bunt right back to Samluk on the mound. Looking to get the lead runner, Samluk wheeled and fired to third, but the ball sailed high and wide and down the third base line, allowing both runs to score.

But the offense picked Samluk up in the bottom half of the sixth. Josh Hampton, who singled in the first game, extended his hitting streak to 14 straight games with a leadoff double into left center. Jonathan Rodriguez singled into center two batters later and got on the board as the throw from center field deflected off the glove of the cutoff man and trickled all the way into the Molloy dugout allowing Hampton to score. Rodriguez moved to third on the pay and later scored on a Sam Goines sacrifice fly.

After Samluk threw a perfect seventh inning, the Wildcats used a two out rally to settle the score. With two outs and the bases empty, Jordan Johnson worked a walk to start the rally. Jon Castro singled through the right side, allowing Johnson to go first to third, sliding under the tag to stand 90 feet away. After Hampton was intentionally walked to load the bases, Lopes hit a 1-2 pitch the other way, finding the hole through the right side, scoring Johnson easily for the game winning run.

The Wildcats received five hits from five different players in game two and bounced back by recording three errors in the field behind Samluk’s no-hitter.

Wilmington also needed a late rally in the day’s first game, trailing 5-2 heading into the eighth inning. Hampton collected his only hit of the game in the eighth inning, his team leading ninth double to keep his hitting streak alive, bringing into Johnson and Samluk to cut the lead to 5-4. Hampton was thrown out at third on the play, so the Wildcats needed to start from scratch once again.

Lopes started up the offensive once again in the eighth, singling into right field with one out. Rodriguez followed with a single back up the middle and Goines walked two batters later to load the bases. Castro hit a high chopper to third base and used his legs to beat out the throw to first, bringing home Lopes with the game tying run. Brendan Fallers then battled to a full count and watched ball-four go by, forcing in Rodriguez with the go-ahead run.

Tyler Fries worked his way out of a two on and one out jam in the eighth to preserve the lead, handing the ball over to Nick Marics in the ninth. Marics worked quickly through the final inning, picking up his fourth save of the year.

In addition to his no-hitter, Samluk went 4-for-5 with a run scored in the first game at the plate to lead the Wildcats. Johnson and Lopes also added two hits apiece in the day’s first game.

Tim Racek picked up the win, throwing 1.2 innings in relief of starter Jason Seitler. Racek struck out four batters in getting to Fries for the eighth inning. Seitler went the first 5.1 inning in his second start of the season.

The doubleheader capped nine games in six games during Spring Break for the Wildcats, and ended a 13 game stretch since the beginning of the Franklin Pierce series on March 1. The Wildcats are now off until Wednesday, March 13, when they will attempt to hold their home opener at Wilson Field against Millersville.


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