West Chester Scores in Final Three Innings to Earn Comeback Victory over Wilmington Baseball
Base: WU 5 - West Chester 13
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - West Chester, Pa.
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Senior Jordan Johnson rounds the bases after his eighth inning home run
Junior Jordan Johnson batted 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored
Senior Adam Soley batted s-for-4 with a run scored
The Wilmington University baseball team held the lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning but West Chester scored 10 runs in their final three at-bats to win 13-5 in a nonconference game at Serpico Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
Wilmington (11-7 overall) battled back from a three run deficit to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning, but West Chester (16-1) stormed back to post a three-run sixth, five-run seventh and two-run eighth to win going away.
Wildcat starter Ray Gambone was touched for three runs after the first two innings, but settled in nicely to work into the sixth inning. Gambone only gave up two hits in the third, fourth and fifth innings combined.
Trailing 3-0, the Wildcats rebounded with a two-run third inning to work them back into the ball game early in the contest. Adam Soley led off the inning with a single into right field. Frank Samluk laid down a perfect bunt to put the first two runners on and no outs. Two batters later and runners at first and third, Jordan Johnson lined a single into center field for the visitor’s first run of the game.
Brendan Fallers stole third base as the throw from the catcher came behind him to the bag at second putting runners on first third once again. Joe Harbach legged out a fielder’s choice, beating the throw from second to negate the double play allowing Fallers to score from third to make it 3-2.
Still trailing 3-2, the Wildcats took the lead with two more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Soley started the rally once again with another single, this time into left field. After Frank Samluk walked, Fallers laid a bunt down the third base line, moving the runners into scoring position.
Soley was cut down at the plate on a ground ball to second, but Harbach made up for it with a single through the right side to score Samluk from third. Now with the bases loaded, Jordan Oncay roped a two hopper deep in the hole at first and beat the pitcher to the first base bag to score the go-ahead run and chase Ram starter Matt McAllister from the mound. The Wildcats would leave the bases loaded however, as West Chester was able to escape without further damage.
Gambone gave up a two out double in the fifth, but got out of the inning with the lead still intact as Fallers made a nice sliding play up the middle to knock the ball down, gather and throw the runner out at first to end the inning.
The same did not ring true for Gambone in the sixth, however, as the Rams put three on the board to retake the lead and never look back. West Chester’s Chris Pula and Jordan Wlodarczyk both doubled in the first three batters of the inning to set up the big frame.
A controversial double-play ended the Wildcats opportunity in the top of the seventh as Wilmington had two runners on with one out while trailing 6-4. Mike Godwin laced a two-hopper back up the middle but a diving snag, glove flip and turn at second resulted in a double play that put both benches on its feet.
The Rams used the momentum of the double play and scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh, capped by a three-run home run by Matt Baer.
The Wildcats got one of the runs back in the top of the eighth inning, as Oncay blasted a leadoff home run over the wall in right for his first home run of the season.
Johnson, Oncay and Soley each collected two hits for the Wildcats while Harbach and Oncay each knocked in a pair of runs. Harbach’s single in the fifth extended his season long hitting streak to 12 consecutive games, and continued his streak of reaching base in all 18 games this year.
West Chester got home runs by Josh Heyne and Baer while Joe Wendle’s first inning triple was the 15th of his career, breaking the school’s all-time triples record. Dylan Porter picked up the win for the Rams, throwing 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Wilmington has a chance to wipe its slate clean on Thursday as they return to the diamond and Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action with a single game against Philadelphia University in the first round of the Bill Giles Classic. The winner will face the winner of USciences and West Chest in the championship held at Citizens Bank Park. Thursday game is set to start at 3 p.m.