Payne’s Walk-Off Single in the 10th Gives Wilmington Baseball Nonconference Split against Dowling
BB: Game 1: Dowling 6 - #25 Wilmington 2; Game 2: #25 Wilmington 3 - Dowling 2 (10 inn.)
Sunday, March 17, 2013 - New Castle, DE
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Senior Brandon Payne connects on a fly ball over the drawn in outfield in the bottom of the 10th for the walk off winner in game two. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Senior Jordan Johnson batted 6-for-9 with two runs and two RBI's, shown legging an infield single out in game two. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
On a day in which the Dowling College pitching staff stymied the Wilmington University baseball team’s lineup for most of the nonconference doubleheader, the home team found a way to keep battling and pull off a split at Wilson Field, falling 6-2 in game one before fighting back to take game two, 3-2, with a walk off in the bottom of the 10th on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats (12-8 overall) left 21 batters on base combined between the two games, but a run in the bottom of the seventh in game two sent the game into extras where Brandon Payne hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded to cap the doubleheader. Dowling (4-8) collected 10 hits in the first game, and rode the arm of Adam Brown for the first six innings of game two before losing control in game two.
The bottom of the tenth inning started with Julius Ryland reaching first after getting hit by a pitch on a 2-2 count. Josh Hampton, who had his 17 game hitting streak snapped in the first game on Sunday, followed with a perfectly executed hit and run, putting the first two batters on base. Matt Lopes moved the two runners up 90 feet with a sacrifice fly and two batters later Payne sent a high fly ball to left field, traveling over the heads of the drawn in outfield and landing for the walk-off single.
But the game wouldn’t have made it to the 10th inning if it wasn’t for late game heroics from the bench in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Kyle Lindstrom stepped in as a pinch hitter and took an 0-1 pitch to the gap in left center to put the tying run on second base. Now standing on third base, Lindstrom scored the tying run two batters later as Jordan Johnson continued his outstanding afternoon with the two-out, game-tying single through the right side.
Other than the late game heroics in the second game, the Wildcats bats were relatively silenced by the arms of the Golden Lions. But the nationally No. 25 ranked team found a way to stay in the game, using seven different pitchers (and 22 different players when all said and done) in game two to come away with a much needed victory.
Ray Gambone tossed the first two innings of scoreless baseball before Tim Racek, Tyler Fries, and Nick Marics all threw scoreless single innings. Jarrett Shaffer was called upon for the eighth inning before turning it over to Justin Risko who tossed a scoreless ninth. Peter Monahan pitched a scoreless 10th to give the Wildcat bats one more chance. Frank Samluk was the lone pitcher in game two to get touched for a run, giving up two (one earned) in two innings following Gambone.
Johnson was the constant force in the Wildcat lineup all afternoon, setting the table at the top of the order with a 3-for-4 game in the opener and going 3-for-5, with the game tying hit, in game two. He finished with two RBI’s and two runs scored on the afternoon. Jon Castro batted 2-for-4 in game one and Payne finished 2-for-4 in game two as the only other batters to have multiple hit games on the day for the home team.
In game one, the Wildcats collected eight hits but could only muster single runs in the sixth and ninth innings against the Golden Lions’ duo of Tyler Badamo and Tom Bammann. Dowling put runs on the board in the fourth, fifth, and ninth innings, with only three of the six runs being earned as Wilmington committed three errors in the contest.