Big Innings Help No. 9 Wilmington Baseball To CACC Sweep of Caldwell on Senior Day
BB: Game 1: #9 Wilmington 12 - Caldwell 1; Game 2: #9 Wilmington 11 - Caldwell 4
Saturday, April 27, 2013 - New Castle, DE
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Junior Josh Hampton went 6-for-9 with a double, a triple and four RBI's on Senior Day, helping the team to a sweep of Caldwell on Saturday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Frank Stallworth.Junior Joe Marciano went 4-for-8 with two doubles and four RBI's, helping the team to a sweep of Caldwell on Saturday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Frank Stallworth.Seniors (from left to right)Justin Risko, Jordan Johnson, Brandon Payne, Jonathan Rodriguez, Jo El-Bisi, and David Hatt all has a hand in the doubleheader sweep of Caldwell on Saturday. They were honored after the games on Saturday. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
For the final regular season weekend home game, the Wilmington University baseball team celebrated the careers of six players on Senior Day, but it wasn’t only the seniors that helped the team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep of Caldwell, 12-1 and 11-4, on Saturday at Wilson Field.
The No. 9 Wildcats (35-12, 16-3 CACC) used a seven run inning in each contest to distance themselves away from Caldwell (8-29, 6-13 CACC) receiving big days from junior Josh Hampton and Joe Marciano on top of senior like performances from David Hatt, Jordan Johnson, Jonathan Rodriguez, Justin Risko, Joe El-Bisi, and Brandon Payne.
The wins push the Wildcats streak to eight consecutive victories, as they are only two wins off the all-time mark of 37 wins, accomplished by the 2011 squad.
By virtue of a Dominican split at Bloomfield on Saturday, the Wildcats reclaim the top spot in the CACC standings as well, sitting a game up with a game to play for the CACC Regular Season crown. The Wildcats have already earned a bye in the first round of the CACC Tournament.
In Saturday’s first game, Hatt struggled through the early goings but never seemed to crack under the pressure. After giving up a first inning run, Hatt left three Cougars on the base paths in the first and two more in the second. From there he settled into his game found himself throwing through the eighth inning in his final regular season weekend start.
The Wildcat responded with a run in the second to tie the game and took the lead on a two out, two-run double by Marciano to left center in the fourth. The offense woke up with a seven run fifth inning to grab control of the contest.
Hampton started the inning with his 22nd double of the season before the Wildcats had the bases loaded with no outs. Goines beat out a double play attempt on a nice play up the middle of the shortstop for the inning’s first run. Payne was hit by a pitch to reload the bases before Kyle Lindstrom hit a sacrifice fly to left for another run. Marciano came up and roped another double, this time down the right field line, bringing two more runs home. Frank Samluk stepped in with two on and tripled to the gap in right center before Hampton hit his second extra base hit of the inning with a triple to left center to score Samluk. When all was said and done, the Wildcats led 10-1 after the fifth inning.
After Hatt sat the Cougars down in order in the top of the sixth, Wilmington got on the board once again in the home half, as El-Bisi, pinch hitting for the designated hitter, torched one to left, clearing the fences and into the trees for his first collegiate home run.
Hatt took care of the rest, retiring 11 straight Cougars from the fifth through the eighth innings before handing the ball over to Risko to close out the contest.
The big outburst in game two came a later in the contest and in a more crucial situation as the Wildcats found themselves tied with Caldwell, 4-4, after six complete innings. Samluk battled through the first six innings on the mound, striking out seven while allowing four runs (one earned) on six hits.
After Jarrett Shaffer came on in relief and set the Cougars down in order in the top of the sixth, the bats woke up for the home half of the inning.
With the bases loaded and one out, Payne started the merry-go-round with a two-run double to right center, giving the Wildcats the lead for good. El-Bisi followed suit and traded places with Payne, doubling to right center to score two more runs. Jon Castro walked with the bases loaded to force in a run before Hampton singled through the left side of the infield for two more RBI’s.
Tyler Fries took care of the eighth inning on the mound for the Wildcats before Nick Marics closed out the doubleheader sweep with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Hampton finished 6-for-9 with four RBI’s on the afternoon while Marciano batted 4-for-8 with four RBI’s. El-Bisi had a career day, batting 3-for-7 with a home run and four RBI’s while Payne finished 3-for-9 with five runs scored and two RBI. Johnson went 4-for-9 on the afternoon with three runs, totaling 52 on the year and moving him into third in program history for a single season.
Wilmington takes to the road one final time in the regular season, making up a postponed game with Bridgeport on Monday. The team then returns home to square off with CACC rival Philadelphia on Wednesday for a single, nine-inning contest to close out the regular season.