Late Game Outburst Sends Wilmington Baseball Back to Citizens Bank Park with 16-5 Win over West Chester
BB: #15 Wilmington 16 - West Chester 5
Wednesday, April 10, 2013 - West Chester, Pa.
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Sophomore Matt Lopes opened the flood gates for Wilmington, hitting a two run double with two outs in the eighth for the final lead on Wednesday. File photo by Tim Shaffer. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Sophomore Tyler Fries improved to 4-0 on the year after pitching 1.2 hitless and scoreless innings against West Chester. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. Photo credit: Tim Shaffer. All rights reserved.
Senior Jonathan Rodriguez batted 4-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored against West Chester on Wednesday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Matt Lopes laced a two run double to give the Wilmington University baseball team an eighth inning lead and then the flood gates opened as the Wildcats took the Bill Giles Invitational opening round game, 16-5, over West Chester at Serpico Stadium on Wednesday.
Tied at 5-5 with two outs in the eighth, the 15th ranked Wildcats (27-9) scored three runs in the eighth and poured on eight more runs in the ninth to run away with the victory to tie a program record with 14 consecutive wins. West Chester (16-10-1), which won the NCAA Division II National Championship last season, battled back from a 5-0 hole to tie the game, but fell apart with only four outs remaining.
Wilmington jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings, scoring four in the second. Jonathan Rodriguez started his outstanding afternoon with an RBI single in the first, scoring Sam Goines from second base.
After Ray Gambone set the Golden Rams down in order, the Wildcats stepped up and delivered four runs in the bottom of the second. Kyle Lindstrom scored the innings’ first run on a squeeze play by Brendan Fallers, before Goines stepped up with a two-run single to left center. Now with two outs, Rodriguez collected his second hit in as many innings, singling into center field to score Goines once again and to give the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.
Gambone was cruising through the first three innings, but hit a snag in the fourth as West Chester scored three runs before recording an out. The Rams ended up scoring four runs in the inning to get back into the contest.
A quiet middle portion of the game only led to a raucous ending, as West Chester tied the game at 5-5 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh.
Jordan Johnson got hit by a pitch with one out, putting the go-ahead run on base. After being moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Goines, the Rams intentionally walked Josh Hampton to get to Lopes. The sophomore catcher made them pay for that, hitting his two-run double to left which would become the game-winning hit. Brandon Payne followed with a single two batters later to put the lead to 8-5 heading into the bottom of the eighth.
Tyler Fries, who came on with one out in the seventh, pitched a perfect eighth, recording a strikeout and a pair of fly outs to bring the bats back to the plate for Wilmington.
Johnson executed the Wildcats’ second squeeze bunt of the afternoon for the games’ first run, scoring Frank Samluk. Hampton was again intentionally walked to load the bases with one out and Lopes again delivered with an RBI single up the middle. Rodriguez registered another RBI on a fielder’s choice before Payne smashed a two run double to left center. Lindstrom replaced Payne on second with his own RBI double for the seventh run of the inning. Fallers capped the scoring in the inning with a single back up the middle, chasing Lindstrom from second.
Gambone tossed the first 4.2 innings, striking out two while allowing four runs on six hits in the no decision. Jarrett Shaffer gave up a run in 1.2 innings of work with a strikeout before handing the ball over to Fries. The sophomore pitched the next 1.2 inning scoreless, striking out one without allowing a hit. Nick Marics tossed the final inning, closing the deal on the victory. Fries picked up the win, improving to 4-0.
The Wildcats receive no rest of the weary this week, as they hop on the bus once again and head to the University of Bridgeport on Thursday for their third nonconference matchup in as many days. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.