Baseball 2013 Game Highlight

03/29/2013 - Post

SUBJECT: Great Pitching in Game One, Furious Rally in Game Two Gives No. 23 Wilmington Baseball Sweep over Post

A furious late game rally in the final two at-bats of the nightcap gave the No. 23 Wilmington University baseball team a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep over Post University on Friday afternoon at Renegade Stadium.

After dropping their first CACC game of the season, the Wildcats (20-9, 8-1 CACC) have come back to win eight straight conference games while running their overall win streak to seven straight. Wilmington has not dropped a game since a March 19 battle at in-state and NCAA Division I rival Delaware, while not dropping a game against an NCAA Division II opponent since a 6-2 loss in the opening against Dowling on March 17.

The 2013 squad has turned into the Comeback Kids, having won game two of their previous four doubleheaders in their final at-bats after having easily taken game one of the series. Friday’s doubleheader remained true to the fact, as the Wildcats took down Post 10-1 in game one before needing seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings to steal the nightcap, 8-7.

The opening game of the doubleheader was the Dave Hatt show, as the senior right-handed pitcher tossed the first seven innings while only allowing one run on four hits. He struck out four batters in the win, improving to 4-0 on the year. Tim Racek came on for the final two innings, only giving up one hit in another scoreless appearance.

Hatt was given a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the second and never once allowed the Eagles (8-10-1, 1-5 CACC) to mount any sort of comeback. The Wildcats added a single run in the third before tacking on three more in the sixth to put the game away. A single run in the eighth inning capped the scoring for the visitors.

The five run outburst started as the first three batters of the inning reached base to load the bases with no outs. Joe Marciano started the scoring with an RBI single, followed by another RBI single from Frank Samluk. Jordan Johnson broke the singles parade up with a double down the right field line, scoring two more. Josh Hampton followed two batters later with a deep double to center field, scoring Samluk to cap the scoring in the second.

The Wildcats secured 18 hits in game one, led by Johnson, Hampton, and Jonathan Rodriguez who collected three hits apiece. Hampton went 3-for-5 with the double and three RBI’s while Johnson batted 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in the win.

It would be Rodriguez’ replacement that stole the show in game two, as the Wildcats scored four runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth to take the late lead.

Freshman Mike Annone came on in the sixth inning after Rodriguez was injured in his previous at-bat and promptly collected his first collegiate hit in his first at-bat, a two-run double in the eighth. His RBI’s were the second and third of the inning, bring the Wildcats to within 7-4. Annone would come around to score the fourth run of the inning on a Marciano single.

Still trailing 7-5 in the ninth, the Wildcats continued their furious comeback by getting their first two batters on base and immediately bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Two batters later, Matt Lopes hit an RBI single and moved the tying run to third with only one out. Pinch runner Julius Ryland swiped second base to move the go-ahead run into scoring position before Annone stepped up again.

The freshman chopped one to short and beat out the play, allowing Jon Castro to score with the tying run and moved Ryland to third with only one out. Sam Goines followed with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, producing what would be the game-winning RBI.

After uncharacteristically shaky outings from Frank Samluk and Jarrett Shaffer, the back end of the bullpen nailed down the late innings to allow the offense to come alive. Tyler Fired pitched the sixth and seventh inning while only allowing one base hit before handing the ball over to Nick Marics. The senior closer tossed a perfect eighth inning to set up the offense and then nailed down the win with another perfect inning in the ninth.

After 18 hits in game one, the Wildcats only managed seven hits in game two, led by Lopes’ 2-for-5, two RBI performance. Johnson, Rodriguez, Annone, Goines and Marciano attributed to the other five hits.

The doubleheader sweep capped a perfect 3-0 week for the 23rd ranked team in the NCBWA National Top 25 Poll, as the Wildcats also beat Philadelphia earlier this week. Wilmington will remain on the road for one more series, heading to Chestnut Hill on Tuesday for another CACC doubleheader. Game one is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.


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