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Wilmington Baseball Runs Win Streak to Nine Straight with CACC Doubleheader Sweep at Chestnut Hill

BB: Game 1: #22 Wilmington 16 - Chestnut Hill 2; Game 2: #22 Wilmington 6 - Chesnut Hill 2

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - Norristown, Pa.

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Senior Jonathan Rodriguez batted 4-for-9, with four RBIs and one run scored on an inside-the-park home run in the doubleheader sweep over Chestnut Hill. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Tim Shaffer. All rights reserved.



Sophomore Matt Lopes batted 5-for-8 with a team high six RBIs and three runs scored int he doubleheader sweep over Chestnut Hill. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Liz Case. All rights reserved.

Moving up one spot in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association National Top 25 Poll to No. 22 earlier on Tuesday, the Wilmington University baseball team backed up that ranking with a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep at Chestnut Hill, 16-2 and 6-2, at Latshaw-McCarthy Field.

The Wildcats (21-9, 9-1 CACC) extended its winning streak to nine straight overall and 10 consecutive against NCAA Division II opponents with all nine coming inside the CACC. The doubleheader sweep was the fourth and fifth straight losses for Chestnut Hill (9-14, 2-4 CACC) overall.

The bats came alive in the opening gave as the Wildcats smashed out 16 hits and were aided by six Chestnut Hill errors to go on and rout the Griffins. Ten different Wildcats recorded a hit in game one while sophomore Ray Gambone did not allow the home team anywhere close to the final score, tossing the first seven innings.

Sophomore Matt Lopes and senior Jonathan Rodriguez did the bulk of the damage in the first game, each collecting four RBI’s with multiple hits. Lopes led the Wildcats by going 3-for-4 with two runs while Rodriguez batted 2-for-4 and added a run, hitting an inside-the-park home run in the fifth.

Seniors Jordan Johnson and Brandon Payne, as well as sophomore Frank Samluk also picked up two hits apiece in game one as Johnson and sophomore Jon Castro led the team with three runs scores each. Castro, Josh Hampton, Ryan Richards, Joe El-Bisi, and Joe Marciano also recorded one base hit in the first game.

Gambone improved to 5-1 on the season, winning each of his past three starts overall and four of his last five. He struck out seven more batters on Tuesday, raising his team lead to 43 on the year. In 45.1 innings this year, Gambone is carrying a 1.79 earned run average.

The Wildcats opened the scoring with a three run first inning and never looked back, scoring in all but three innings. They really poured it from the fifth inning through the seventh inning, putting 10 on the board in the three at-bats. Freshman Peter Monahan came on to close out the victory by pitching the final two scoreless innings.

The bats also came out quickly in game two, scoring all six runs in the first four innings to take control. The Wildcats put a single run on the board in each of the first three innings, before widening the margin with a three spot in the fourth.

Leading 3-1 after three complete innings, Samluk started the fourth in a single through the right side. Two batters later, Castro sacrificed two runners into scoring position for the first out before Lopes stepped up with the bases loaded after Hampton was intentionally walked. Lopes sent a single into center field, scoring the first two runs of the inning. Rodriguez followed with another single to reload the bases before Sam Goines reached on a run scoring fielder’s choice to put the Wildcats up 6-1 after three and a half innings.

Four pitchers shut the Griffins down in game two, started by sophomore Rob Gore who picked up his first win of the season after throwing the first five innings. Gore struck out three batters while allowing two runs on seven hits before turning it over to the bullpen. Tim Racek tossed two scoreless innings, only allowing one hit before Tyler Fries threw a scoreless eighth inning. Senior Nick Marics came on for the final three outs, walking a batter but getting a double play to shut the Griffins down in order.

Samluk led the offensive charge in game two which saw 12 more hits by the Wildcats, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Lopes, Rodriguez, and Goines each picked up two hits while Lopes led the team with two RBI’s.

Wilmington returns home for the beginning of a four game home stand on Thursday, starting with a nonconference, nondivisional game against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. The NCAA Division I program makes a trip to Wilson Field on Thursday for a single contest, with the first pitch slated for 3:00 p.m.