Lopes Leads the Bats While Hatt’s Arm Helps Wildcats Earn Baseball Split with Dominican in CACC Opener
BB: Game 1: Dominican 6 - #25 Wilmington 5 (11 inn.); Game 2: #25 Wilmington 13 - Dominican 0
Friday, March 15, 2013 - Pomona, N.Y.
Click Image to Enlarge
Sophomore Matt Lopes went 2-for-6 in game one and 3-for-3 with a double in game two against Dominican on Friday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Liz Case. All rights reserved.
Sophomore Frank Samluk went 4-for-6 with a double, three RBI's and three runs scored in game two against Dominican. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Liz Case. All rights reserved.
Senior Dave Hatt went eight scoreless innings in game two, striking out four batters against Dominican to improve to 2-0 on the season. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
The Wilmington University baseball team opened the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference with a doubleheader split at Dominican, dropping the first game 6-5 in 11 innings but coming back with a vengeance in game two winning 13-0 on Friday afternoon at Provident Bank Park.
Wilmington (12-7, 1-1 CACC), ranked the 25th team in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Top 25 Poll, had its three game win streak snapped with the game one loss, but came back to win game two to win for the seventh time in the last nine contests.
Dominican has gotten off to a slow start in 2013, starting 0-4 before splitting its last four games to come to a 2-6 record. More importantly, the Chargers, picked to finish second in the CACC Preseason Poll, earned their first CACC victory on Friday as well.
The Wildcats received eight hits from four different players in game one, coming back from a 4-0 hole to almost steal one away from the home team. Josh Hampton, Matt Lopes, Jonathan Rodriguez and Brandon Payne all collected two hits in game one, led by doubles from Hampton, Rodriguez and Payne.
After having to go to the bullpen in the fourth inning, the Wildcats fought back from a 4-0 deficit with a four run sixth inning. Rodriguez got the rally going with a one out double to center field before coming around to score two batters later on a single from Payne. Sam Goines added the second run on a wild pitch before Payne came around to score on a Jordan Johnson fielder choice and a throwing error by the Charger first baseman. Frank Samluk tied the ballgame at 4-4 by working a full count walk with the bases loaded walk.
Dominican fought back to take a 5-4 lead with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Wildcats came right back to retie the game with a run of their own in the eighth. With two outs and a runner on second, Hampton connected for his double to left field, easily scoring Brendan Fallers to knot the game.
The score remained the same until the 11th inning when the Chargers put their leadoff runner on base but couldn’t do anything until two outs in the inning. Nick Marics, working his third inning out of the pen, had the Charger base runner stranded at second with two outs, but a 0-1 base hit to right field allowed the game winning run to cross.
The Wildcats needed the first three innings of game two to shake the cobwebs out, but then exploded for all 13 runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to earn the split.
Nine different batters registered a hit in game two, as the Wildcats tallied 14 in all. Samluk led the offensive surge by going 4-for-6 with a double, three RBI’s and three runs scored. Lopes added a 3-for-3 performance in game two, hitting a double while bringing in two and scoring one on his own.
Hampton batted 1-for-5 in the second game, hitting a double in the 6th inning to extend his hitting streak to 17 consecutive games. The junior transfer from Cecil College is now only four games away from matching the program’s longest consecutive hitting streak, set by Cody Holliday at 21 straight games.
Wilmington put two runs on the board in the top of the fourth to kick off the scoring. The Wildcats then added six runs in the fifth, one run in the sixth, and four more in the seventh.
The 13 runs were more than enough for Wildcat starter Dave Hatt, as he went eight innings of scoreless baseball to earn his second win of the season. He moved to 2-0 in the early going, only giving up six hits while striking out four batters and walking one. Freshman Peter Monahan tossed a scoreless ninth inning for the combined shutout.
In addition to the Samluk, Lopes, and Hampton doubles, freshman JR Gregory smacked his first career double and first career RBI with a two-bagger down the left field line in the seventh.
The team has Saturday off before getting back into action on Sunday at home. The Wildcats will square off against East Region foe Dowling College on St. Patrick’s Day at Wilson Field in a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.