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Wilmington Baseball Completes the Series Sweep of No. 7 Franklin Pierce, 6-5 and 2-0, At Baseball Heaven

BB: Game 1: Wilmington 6 - #7 Franklin Pierce 5 (11 inn.); Game 2: Wilmington 2 - No. 7 Franklin PIerce - 0

Saturday, March 2, 2013 - Yaphank, N.Y.

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Senior Jonathan Rodriguez went 3-for-9 in the doubleheader on Saturday, knocking in three and scoring two more against Franklin Pierce. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.



The Wildcats completed the four-game sweep over seventh ranked Franklin Pierce, also the top ranked team in the latest NCBWA East Region poll. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.

The Wilmington University baseball team needed extra innings once again to dispose of No. 7 Franklin Pierce in the first game before finishing off the four-game sweep in game two, 2-0, on Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven.

After taking the first two of the four-game series on Saturday, needing 11 innings in the second game on Friday to defeat the Ravens, the Wildcats (5-2) battled back and scored an unearned run the top of the 11th in the first game on Saturday before scoring single runs in the fourth and seventh innings of a seven inning contest to complete the four-game sweep.

The Wildcats jumped out to a fast 2-0 lead in the first nine-inning contest on Saturday before having to claw back and force extra innings. The Ravens (5-4) tallied three runs in the bottom of the fourth and again took the lead with a two run sixth inning before succumbing to the late drama for the second game in a row.

Jonathan Rodriguez hit a two-run single into right field to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead with sophomore Ray Gambone on the mound. Gambone shut down the Ravens through the first three innings before slightly unraveling in the fourth. After two errors in the inning and a leadoff homerun, the Ravens scored three runs and took the lead for the first time of the afternoon.

Jon Castro tied the game with an RBI double in the top of the fourth inning with only one out, but the Wildcats could not scratch any more runs across the board as Castro was caught at the plate from second base for the second out.

The Wildcat once again took the lead with a single run in the top of the sixth inning, as Kyle Lindstrom connected on one of his three hits for the game, scoring Rodriguez from third.

Franklin Pierce responded with a two run bottom half of the sixth to again take a one run lead, also ending Gambone’s day with one out in the inning.

With the bases loaded and one out in the eighth, Matt Lopes reached on an error by the third baseman, allowing Rodriguez to score with the game-tying run once again. But the Wildcats were unable to get another run in the inning, and then the game found itself in extra innings for the second contest in a row.

Now in the 11th, Jordan Johnson was sacrificed to second base with one out in the inning and scored two batters later on an error by the Ravens’ third baseman. Freshman Jarret t Shaffer came on in the bottom of the frame and promptly set the Ravens down in order for his first collegiate save.

The second game was more heavily pitching dominated, as Frank Samluk got the nod for the Wildcats, looking for the four-game sweep of the NCAA Division II East Region’s top team. Samluk went five innings while allowing only two hits and striking out four batters before handing it over to the bullpen.

Jason Seitler saw his first action as a Wildcat, tossing an inning while striking out one batter and allowing a hit to get to the seventh and final inning of the game. Shaffer came on once again for the Wildcats, holding a 2-0 lead, and again set the Ravens down in order to record his second save of the day.

The pitching got all the support it needed with single runs in the fourth and seventh innings, as the Wildcats went on to win 2-0. Rodriguez stayed hot form the first game, connecting with a single to score Josh Hampton from second for the game’s first run. Brendan Fallers made it 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats in the top of the seventh, executing a perfect suicide bunt play, scoring Brandon Payne from third who led off the inning with a double.

Hampton and Payne led the Wildcats with two hits apiece in the second game while Rodriguez and Joe Marciano collected the team’s other two hits for the game. Hampton finished the day 4-for-9 with a double and two runs scored.

The Wildcats take off for Florida on Sunday night, spending a week in the Sunshine State for the team’s annual Spring Break trip. The team will play nine games in the week, starting with a single game against Southern New Hampshire on Monday at 11 a.m., being played at Lynn University.