Wildcats Pick Up First Win of 2013 But Split Baseball Doubleheader with St. Thomas Aquinas
BB: Game 1: Wilmington 3 - St. Thomas Aquinas; Game 2: St. Thomas Aquinas 10 - Wilmington 5
Sunday, February 24, 2013 - Flemington, N.J.
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Senior Dave Hatt pitched six quality innings in his first outing of 2013, a 3-2 win against St. Thomas Aquinas. Copyright 2012; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Sophomore Tyler Fries struck out two batters in the first game on Sunday, picking up the team's first win of 2013. Copyright 2012; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
The Wilmington University baseball team earned its first victory of the 2013 season but split Sunday’s doubleheader against St. Thomas Aquinas, 3-2 and 5-10, to lose the opening series of the year at Diamond Nation.
Senior Brandon Payne hit a one out single in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Joe Marciano who hit a leadoff double, breaking a 2-2 tie in the first game of the doubleheader. Marciano’s run held up as Nick Marics came on in the top of the ninth and only allowed a one out walk before Matt Lopes threw out a would be base stealer, sealing the Wildcats’ (1-2) first win of the 2013 season.
Game two of the doubleheader did not go as well, however, as St. Thomas Aquinas (2-1) used a five run sixth inning to turn a 5-2 game into a 10-2 lead, putting the game out of reach. The Spartans also defeated the Wildcats in the first game of the doubleheader on Friday, taking the season opening NCBWA East Region Preseason Top 10 series. St. Thomas Aquinas was voted seventh while the Wildcats were voted fourth in the preseason poll.
Senior right-hander Dave Hatt tossed six innings in his first outing of the season, settling down after allowing two runs in the first inning. He allowed three hits, all coming in the first inning, while striking out four batters. He came out of the game at the end of the sixth with the game tied 2-2.
Rob Gore came on and threw a scoreless, hitless seventh inning, striking out one batter before turning it over to Tyler Fries. Fries tossed another scoreless inning, striking out a pair, allowing the bats to come alive to take the lead.
Marciano led off the inning with a double and reached third base as Sam Goines laid down a sacrifice bunt. Payne stepped in and roped an RBI single, putting the Wildcats ahead, 3-2.
Payne finished the first game with two hits and two RBI’s, knocking in the team’s first run on a double in the fourth inning. Jordan Johnson, Marciano, and Brendan Fallers counted for the team’s five hits.
In the second game, Josh Hampton went 2-for-4 with a three-run homerun, but the Wildcats only collected three hits as the Spartans pulled away with seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Sophomore Ray Gambone got the nod on the mound, going four innings while giving up three runs on five hits. He struck out two Spartans in his first outing of the season, but left the game in a 3-2 deficit and the Wildcats could never recover, as Gambone was saddled with the loss.
Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first, Johnson tied the game with the use of his speed on the base paths, as he led off the inning with a walk. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, the senior moved to third on an error by a catcher and scored on an error by the center fielder to tie the game.
The Spartans took the lead back with two runs in the third inning, and the Wildcats could only cut the deficit to as close as one run the rest of the way.
Trailing 10-2, Hampton tried to bring the Wildcats back in the sixth inning with his first blast of the season. Fallers led off the frame with a walk before Jon Castro put runners on first and second with a one out single. Hampton stepped in and launched a three-run shot to bring the score to 10-5, but that’s all the Wildcats would manage in the inning.
Wilmington has a quick turnaround from its season opening series, returning home to open its home schedule on Tuesday. The Wildcats will square off against NCAA Division II Defending National Champion West Chester in its home opener at Wilson Field starting at 3 p.m.