Baseball 2013 Game Highlight

05/01/2013 - PHILADELPHIA

SUBJECT: No. 8 Wilmington Baseball Clinches CACC Regular Season Crown with 3-2 Win Over Philadelphia in Season Finale

The Wilmington University baseball team captured its second Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season championship, holding off Philadelphia, 3-2, on the final day of the 2013 regular season on Wednesday, also earning the No. 1 seed in next week’s CACC Tournament.

With the win, the Wildcats went 17-3 in the CACC and finished one game ahead of Dominican to earn the number one seed. Wilmington last won the CACC regular season title in 2010, finishing a game ahead of Dominican at 16-4 and 29-18 overall. The 2013 squad is 37-12 overall, No. 8 in the latest NCBWA National Poll.

Wednesday’s low scoring affair did not take into account the 23 combined hits between the Wildcats and the Rams (19-27-1, 12-8 CACC), as the teams left 28 batters on base through the course of the game. The Wildcats stranded 15 runners on base while the Rams left 13, including getting a runner thrown out at the plate.

The Wildcats got off to a good start in the game, scoring a run in the bottom of the first inning to give starter Rob Gore an early lead.

Frank Samluk started the rally with a one out double to right center, narrowly beating the throw from right field. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Josh Hampton grounded out to the right side, but with the infield at normal fielding position, Samluk trotted home with the games’ first run. Matt Lopes and Jonathan Rodriguez singled with two outs in the inning but were left stranded, beginning an unfortunate scenario for the Wildcats.

After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first, Gore found himself in trouble through the rest of his outing, but never wavered and threw five scoreless innings. He worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the second, and gave up two out hits in the fourth and fifth before being lifted.

After scoring in the bottom of the first, the Wildcats stranded a pair of runners in every inning before finishing with only one left on base in the eighth frame.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, Joe Marciano gave the Wildcats some breathing room with a single through the right side, scoring both Sam Goines and Brandon Payne for the 3-0 lead.

The Rams were able to get back to within a run in the top of the sixth, as John Sczepanski hit a two-run home run down the left field line with one out. Philadelphia would load the bases following the home run, but Jarrett Shaffer induced a fly ball to left field for the innings’ final out, leaving Wilmington in front 3-2.

Shaffer got out of a jam in the seventh, getting a ground ball double play with one out and two runners on as Rodriguez, Samluk, and Marciano turned the inning ender.

Tyler Fries came on in the eighth and received help from his infielders to keep the lead intact. With a runner on third and only one out, the infield came in to cut the tying run down at the plate. Chris Pelaez hit a sharp grounder back up the middle, but Rodriguez made a diving play to his left, hopped up, spun and whirled a one hopper to Lopes at the plate. Lopes fielder the throw, and tug the runner barreling down on him to keep it at 3-2 in favor of Wilmington.

Nick Marics secured the win and the CACC regular season crown with an easy 1-2-3 inning in the top of the ninth. It was his league leading eighth save of the season.

Gore improved to 2-1 by getting through five scoreless innings while Jordan Johnson, Samluk, and Marciano each led the offense with two hits each.

The win gives the Wildcats the first game of the second round in the CACC Tournament on Thursday, May 9. They will play the winner of the 4/5 game which will be played on Tuesday at the site of the No. 4 seed. The game will be played at 12 Thursday, hosted by Wilmington at Wilson Field.

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