Wildcats Split Doubleheader Against Saint Rose, 6-2 and 2-4, in Florida
Base: WU 6 - Saint Rose 2; WU 2 - Saint Rose 4
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - Lantana, Fla.
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Junior BJ Janney
Photo: Chris Mlynarczyk
Sophomore Nick Marics
Photo: Chris Mlynarczyk
The Wilmington University baseball team split a doubleheader against Saint Rose Wednesday on the second day of a week-long trip to Florida, winning game one, 6-2, before closing the day with a 4-2 setback at the Santa Luces Sports Complex.
The Wildcats lived on its pitching in the game-one victory and died by its pitching in the game-two loss. Justin DeLong struck out 11 batters in seven innings of work to pick up his first win of the year, allowing two runs (one earned) with only two walks. And on the flip side, although not entirely the staff’s fault, the Wildcats tied the game-two contest in the top of the sixth, to only give it right back to Saint Rose in the bottom half of the inning.
DeLong only gave up three hits through the first five innings, waiting for the offense to come alive. The bats began to stir in the bottom of the fourth, led by a one-out triple by Joe Harbach. Mike Godwin got his bat on the ball, grounding out to short, but allowed Harbach to trot home for the game’s first run.
The bats then shook loose in the bottom of the fifth inning with three hits and two runs. But it wasn’t the big hit that allowed the Wildcats to score, as they got creative on the base paths to scratch some runs across. Bryan Miller led off the inning with a single, and pinch runner Brandon Payne moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Rodriguez. Joe Marciano put runners on first and second with another single and a stolen base. Brendan Fallers than executed a squeeze bunt to score Payne from third base. Marciano made it 3-0 when he touched home on a wild pitch.
DeLong cruised through the top of the sixth with a 1-2-3 inning, but ran into trouble in the top of the seventh, still leading 3-0. The Golden Knights got their first two base batters on by a single and a fielding error, and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. Saint Rose’s Scott Hladik then doubled home both runs, cutting the lead to 3-2. DeLong got out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play two batters later to escape further damage.
Wilmington responded with three runs of its own in the home half of the seventh to extend the lead out to four. Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch after starting the rally with a one-out double. Marciano came around to score from second on a BJ Janney single, while Godwin capped the scoring with an RBI on a bases loaded walk.
Nick Marics came on to pitch a scoreless eighth, while Jamie Treml secured the game-one victory with a scoreless ninth inning. Janney, Harbach and Miller each finished with two hits for the game.
Ray Gambone got the start on the mound in game-two of the doubleheader, a seven inning affair. He threw five innings while giving up two runs on four hits with six strikeouts in the no decision.
The Wildcats (4-2) struck first in the night cap, as Godwin picked up his third RBI of the day with a sacrifice fly in the top of the first to score Jordan Johnson from third.
The Golden Knights tied the game at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the second inning off Gambone. Saint Rose got its first two runners on base, with the leadoff man eventually scoring on a two out single by AJ Capone.
Gambone shut the Golden Knights down in the next two innings, but was unable to escape trouble in the fifth. Golden Knight leadoff man Ryan Hooker was plunked by a pitch to get on base. After stealing second, he advanced to third on a ground out to Rodriguez at short. Hooker then came down the third base line with the go-ahead run on a passed ball.
But the Wildcats rallied in the top of the sixth to tie the score once more. Godwin worked a one-out walk to start the rally. Jordan Oncay followed with a single while Matt Lopes loaded the bases by reaching on an error. Rodriguez flied out to center, but deep enough to score pinch runner Payne from third.
The Wildcats turned to Harbach on the mound in the bottom of the sixth, but an error and three straight Golden Knight singles led to two runs. It would have been more if it wasn’t for a crafty relay on the third single to catch a runner at the plate. Capone singled into left, scoring one run, but the Wildcats cut Brian Maynard down at the plate with as Janney turned the relay to Lopes at home.
Saint Rose’s Mack Naughton came in to finish off the sixth inning, and continued in the seventh, setting the Wildcats down in order, making it four straight outs for the reliever to close out the contest and pick up the win.
Janney and Lopes each collected two hits for Wilmington in game two, while Oncay and Kyle Hitchens accounted for the other two.
Golden Knight starter Justin Brooks went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits. He struck out one batter but also allowed one walk.
The Wildcats return to action on Thursday, as they square off against Southern New Hampshire at Lynn University. Southern New Hampshire received votes in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Poll and is currently 11-0 on the season. The game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.