Hot Bats Silenced as West Chester Claims Bill Giles Invitational with 5-2 Win over Wilmington
Base: WU 2 - No. 17 West Chester 5
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - Philadelphia, Pa.
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Freshman Ray Gambone tossed the first three innings on Tuesday with three strikeouts
Junior Brandon Payne hit a single in the seventh inning on Tuesday
Sophomore Nick Marics threw a near perfect eighth inning against West Chester
Coming into today as winners in 11 of its last 12 games overall, the balls were stinging off the bats of the Wilmington University baseball team recently.
Today was a different day, however, as the Wildcats fell 5-2 in the Bill Giles Invitational Championship to National Collegiate Baseball Writers Associate No. 17 West Chester at Citizens Bank Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies.
The Wildcats (24-14) only mustered two hits on the afternoon, stymied all day by the West Chester (27-6) arms. Wilmington did not pick up its first hit in the game until the sixth inning, but stayed in the game early by the starting pitching of freshman Ray Gambone.
In his fourth start of the year, Gambone set the Golden Rams down in order in the first inning and got out of a two-on and no out jam in the third before exiting. The Rams did get to Gambone in the second inning, however.
After retiring the first batter of the inning, Gambone walked the next batter to start the West Chester rally. Back-to-back single produce the game’s first run, as Matt Baer singled down the left field line for the RBI. Another single in the next at-bat by Josh Heyne scored another Ram run to make it 2-0. But Gambone buckled down and struck out leadoff man Mike Raimo before inducing an inning ending ground out to escape without further damage with the bases loaded.
West Chester broke through with two more runs in the fourth inning, as a pair of Golden Rams homered to left field, both of the solo shot variety, to give the designated home team the 4-0 lead.
West Chester starter Jordan Lehman did not allow a hit in the first five innings, but gave way to the bullpen in the top of the sixth. The Wildcats got back into the game by getting to the bullpen.
Adam Soley led off the inning with a walk and the Wildcats had two runners on with no outs as Jooanthan Rodriguez reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. BJ Janney moved the runners up into scoring position. Joe Harbach put the Wildcats on the board as he pulled a single through the right side, scoring Soley with their first run, on their first hit of the game. Mike Godwin followed with a sacrifice fly ball to center field, easily scoring Rodriguez without a throw to make it 4-2 after five and a half innings.
But that is as close as Wilmington would get, as Brandon Payne was the only other Wildcats to register a hit the rest of the game. He lined a two-out bsaes empty single into right field in the top of the seventh, trailing 5-2. The Rams got out of the inning with a fielders’ choice in the next at-bat.
Gambone was saddled with the loss, as he threw three innings allowing two runs on five hits. He recorded three strikeouts on the afternoon but fell to 0-3 on the year. Tim Racek through the fourth inning while Rob Gore gave up an unearned run in 1.2 innings pitched. Tyler Fries recorded the final out in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh before Nick Marics tossed a near perfect eighth, allowing one runner to reach on an error, to close out the game.
The win was the fifth consecutive Bill Giles Invitational Championship for West Chester, as they have now won nine of the 12 tournaments overall. The Wildcats were the last team other than West Chester to win, claiming the 2007 championship trophy.
Wilmington will have no time to rest as it heads to Shippensburg for another PSAC challenge tomorrow. The Raiders took the first game of the season series, an 8-2 decision at Wilson Field on March 27. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.