Baseball 2014 Game Highlight

05/17/2014 - NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament #1 Southern New Hampshire

MANCHESTER, N.H.

SUBJECT: Wilmington's Baseball Season Comes to a Close As Wildcats Fall, 4-3, to Southern New Hampshire in East Regional Tournament

The Wilmington University baseball team’s season came to a unsatisfied close on Saturday afternoon, falling to top seeded Southern New Hampshire, 4-3, in an NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament elimination game at Penmen Field.

After winning the first game of the Regional Tournament, the Wildcats fell in back-to-back games to finish the season 35-11-1 overall. In six Regional Tournaments, the Wildcats are now 7-12 overall.

The Wildcats struck first in Saturday’s must win game, putting three on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning.

With one out in the inning, Sam Goines reached on a throwing error to kick start the rally. Joe Marciano, Mike Annone, and Jon Castro all walked in the inning, with Castro’s forcing in the game’s first run as the bases were loaded.

Facing a new arm, Josh Swirchak fought off an 0-2 count and singled into center field, bringing into both Annone and Lindstrom for a 3-0 Wilmington lead after five full innings.

Working into his sixth inning of work, starter Frank Samluk struck out his fourth batter to start the inning, but that is when the Penmen fought back with a rally of their own.

A walk and a single into center put runners on first and second before another walk loaded the bases, with only one out in the inning. Fighting back form an 0-2 count to work it full, Mike Mastroberti took the sixth pitch of the at-bat and doubled into the gap in left center, chasing all three runners home to even the score at 3-3.

Now working against reliever Nick Marics, Tyler Fortanascio singled through the left side with two outs in the innings, allowing Mastroberti to score from second for the go-ahead run.

Sam Goines was hit by a pitch with one out in the sixth, stealing second and reaching third on a ground out by Marciano. But with two outs in the inning, reliever Ben Criscuolo got Lindstrom swinging to end the threat.

Jon Castro hit a one out single in the seventh and was standing on third after stealing second and third with only one out in the inning. But Criscuolo induced a grounder to a drawn in shortstop by Swirchak and a fly ball down the right field line by Christian Adorno to end the inning, again leaving the tying run 90 feet away.

From there, Criscuolo set the Wildcats down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings, closing the game and allowing the Penmen to move on to another elimination game later Saturday night.

Swirchak, Josh Hampton, and Castro collected the Wildcats’ four hits, with Castro batting 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI. Swirchak batted 1-for-4 with two RBI.

Samluk was saddled with his first loss of the season, pitching 5.1 innings while allowing four runs on five hits, striking out four batters while walking three. Marics pithed 2.2 innings while striking out a batter and giving up two hits. Tyler Fries came on and tossed a scoreless ninth inning.

Criscuolo earned the win to improve to 6-0 on the year, striking out a pair while allowing two hits in 4.1 innings of work.  Penmen starter Cole Warren went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs, all unearned, on two hits. Warren struck out a pair but walked four batters in the no decision.

Saturday marked the end of six Wilmington University seniors, as Marics, Marciano, and Tim Racek helped lead the Wildcats to four straight NCAA East Regional Tournament appearances. Hampton, Lindstrom, and Jarrett Shaffer helped the team to the past two NCAA Division II East Regional Tournaments as transfers.

The senior class also helped the Wildcats in winning three Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championships in the past four years. 


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