Pitching Leads Way for Wilmington Baseball in Doubleheader Sweep Over Merrimack, 1-0 and 3-1
Base: WU 1 - Merrimack 0; WU 3 - Merrimack 1
Sunday, March 4, 2012 - New Castle, DE
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Junior RHP Dave Hatt pitched eight scoreless innings in the game one win.
Photo Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk - www.bluehenstudios.comSenior LHP Ryan Lally finished with eight strikeouts in the game two win.
Photo Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk - www.bluehenstudios.comSenior OF/LHP Joe Harbach hit a home run and earned the save in game two.
Photo Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk - www.bluehenstudios.com
The pitching staff was ready to play in the 2012 opening series for the Wilmington University baseball team, throwing two more gems in a doubleheader sweep, 1-0 and 3-1, over Merrimack College on Sunday afternoon at Wilson Field.
With the two wins, the Wildcats swept all three games of the season opening series, moving to 3-0 on the young season. Merrimack (1-6) dropped its sixth consecutive game after starting the season with a victory over Molloy College.
After sophomore Jamie Treml, Justin DeLong and Tyler Fries started the season by only giving up two hits in the victory on Friday, the rest of the Wildcat staff wanted to follow suite and not be out performed.
The pitchers not only stepped up on Sunday, but may have outdone their teammates with a pair of solid performances through the doubleheader.
First-year transfer Dave Hatt got the nod on the mound for game one, and promptly earned his keep in the rotation with his first performance as a Wildcat. Hatt only needed 91 pitches to work through eight innings, while only allowing one hit and striking out three Warrior batters. He gave way to senior closer Jordan Oncay for the ninth who picked up his first save of the year with two strikeouts.
Hatt gave up a two-out bases empty double down the right field line in the top of the first, but didn’t allow another base runner until he hit the leadoff man to open the eighth inning. He faced one batter over the minimum through his eight innings of work, as he picked off Casey Cotter at second base in the first after he got the lone hit of the game for Merrimack.
Merrimack got the tying run to second base in the ninth inning off Oncay, but the closer induced a pop-up for the second out before slamming the door shut with his second strikeout of the inning to end the game.
The Wildcats got seven hits off Warrior starter Travis Terrill, but could only scratch a single run over as Terrill was just as effective as Hatt on the mound. Terrill only three 88 pitches in his eighth innings of work, keeping batters off balanced and allowing one walk. The run he surrendered was unearned.
The Wildcats got the only run they would need in the third inning, as Jordan Johnson got on base by the threat of his speed. Johnson chopped one to third base and raced out of the box, forcing Warrior third baseman John Pastyrnak to overthrow his first baseman and allowing Johnson to reach second. Joe Harbach moved Johnson up 90 feet with a ground out before Mike Godwin singled into left field for the RBI.
Senior left-hander Ryan Lally picked up in game two where Hatt and Oncay left off on the mound. He threw six solid innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out eight Warrior batters. Tim Racek, Nick Marics and Harbach each threw an inning behind Lally to keep the sweep in order.
Lally’s only hiccup came in the second inning as he gave up a leadoff double to right center to Merrimack’s cleanup hitter Joe Mantoni. The Warriors moved Mantoni to third with a sacrifice bunt, before an RBI groundout to the shortstop gave the visitors the 1-0 lead.
But the Wildcats fired right back in the bottom of the second, as Oncay led off the frame with his own double down the right field line. Bryan Miller moved him over to third with his first sacrifice bunt of the year before Jonathan Rodriguez singled into center field to tie the game at 1-1. Joe Marciano put two runners on with two outs with a single in the hole past a diving first baseman. A balk by Warrior starter Joe Carnevale set up an RBI single BJ Janney into center field to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
Lally would only allow one more base runner through his time on the mound, a one out double to right center in the fourth. But he got back-to-back groundouts to secure the lead.
Harbach made it 3-1 with a solo blast over the fence in right field for his first home run of the year, putting a close to Carnevale’s book for the day.
Racek allowed a walk in his scoreless inning of work in the seventh, and Marics gave up an infield hit in the eight but worked out of the inning to preserve the lead. Harbach came in from center to close out the ball game, giving up a leadoff single, but did not allow the runner to advance past second.
Harbach finished the day 3-for-7 with a run and an RBI, both coming on his solo jack, while Janney finished 3-for-8 with an RBI combined in both games. Godwin and Oncay each finished 2-for-8 on the day.
The Wildcats head to Florida for their annual week long Spring Break trip and will play eight games before returning home. They open the week on Tuesday March 6 at St. Thomas University. Wilmington will return home for a non-conference matchup against Post on Wednesday March 14 at 3 p.m. at Wilson Field.