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Wildcats Can’t Hang On to Late Lead, Fall at Barry, 9-6, on Spring Break

BB: Barry 9 - Wilmington 6

Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - Miami Shores, Fla.

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Senior Jordan Johnson went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored on Tuesday night against Barry. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.



Redshirt sophomore Jon Castro batted 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a stolen base on Tuesday night at Barry. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.

A four run eighth inning allowed Barry University to come all the way back on Wilmington University, 9-6, in a nonconference baseball game at Feinbloom Field on Tuesday night on Wilmington’s Spring Break trip.

The Wildcats (5-4) scored three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to hold a 6-2 lead but the Buccaneers (13-7) scored three in the fifth and four in the eighth to steal a victory from the visitors.

Jordan Johnson, Frank Samluk, Joe Marciano, Brandon Payne and Jon Castro each collected two hits on the night while the Wildcats outhit Barry, 12-9, but stranded 11 runners on base throughout the nine inning contest.

Barry struck first with a pair of runs in the third inning, picking up one earned and one unearned run off reliever Justin Risko. But the Wildcats battled back in the next half inning, eventually taking the lead in the inning, scoring three runs.

With two outs and a runner on second base, Castro and Johnson walked to load the bases. Frank Samluk took four balls in a row for an RBI walk, forcing in the Wildcats’ first run of the game. Josh Hampton, named the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday, welcomed a new pitcher with a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch to score two more runs and take the lead.

After Tim Racek came on to pitch and set the Bucs down in order, the Wildcats were back at it in the batter’s box, putting three more runs up on the board in the fifth. With two outs and Brandon Payne on second for the second inning in a row, the Wildcats’ rally started. Castro chopped one to first base and used his speed to create havoc and the toss to the pitcher was off the mark, allowing Payne to come around to score from second. After stealing second base, Castro trotted home as Johnson lined one inside the first base bag for his first double of the year. Samluk followed with another single through the right side, allowing Johnson to come around for the 6-2 lead.

Barry cut the deficit to a single run with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning, as the Wildcats narrowly avoided disaster by getting two outs with only one runner on. But two walks and two errors later in the inning, the Bucs put three on the board to close the gap to 6-5.

After the fifth inning, the Wildcats offense was unable to string enough hits together to scratch out another run, but the team still held onto the one run lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning.

With runners on first and third and one out, Nick Marics induced the ground ball he was looking for, but it was too slow to turn a double play, as Brendan Fallers had to go to first with it on the play, allowing the tying run to score. From there, the Bucs would put another three runs on the board with two outs to take the 9-6 lead.

The Wildcats went with a full bullpen approach on Tuesday, using eight pitchers against Barry. Armando Estrada started the eighth inning and gave up two runs in a third of an inning, being saddled with the loss. The redshirt freshman falls to 0-2 on the season.

Joeanthony Rivera pitched the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings for the home team, allowing three hits but no runs and benefited from the four run eighth inning, earning the win. He is now 2-2 on the year. Calvin Rayburn pitched the scoreless ninth, earning his first save.

The Wildcats have another single nine-inning game on Wednesday against a tough South Region team when they head to Nova Southeastern. The Wildcats will again be the visitors when the first pitch is thrown at 6 p.m.