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Samluk Stymies New Haven as Wilmington’s Offense Produces 11 runs in Sending the Wildcats to Final Day of East Regional

BB: #1 Wilmington 11 - #3 New Haven 0 - NCAA East Region Tournament

Saturday, May 18, 2013 - Manchester, N.H.

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Senior Brandon Payne batted 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored against New Haven on Saturday at the NCAA East Region Tournament. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.



Sophomore Matt Lopes scored three runs on Saturday, batting 2-for-4 with two RBI against New Haven in the NCAA East Region Tournament. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.



Sophomore Frank Samluk struck out a career high 12 batters in seven innings against New Haven, improving to 5-1 with the win in the NCAA East Region Tournament. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.

Sophomore Frank Samluk stymied the University of New Haven offense on Saturday afternoon, leading the Wilmington University baseball team in advancing to the final day of the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament as the bats rose to the occasion again, 11-0, at Penmen Field on the campus of Southern New Hampshire.

The Wildcats (42-13) put up crooked numbers in three of their four scoring innings, throwing a five spot on the board in the top of the sixth inning to put the game away. But the day was Samluk’s, as the utility man pitched seven strong innings with a career high 12 strikeouts, improving to 5-1 on the season. The loss ended the season for New Haven (34-16), winners of the NE-10 Conference Tournament.

The win on Saturday puts the top seeded Wildcats into the final day of the Regional Tournament for the first time in program history, as they will square off against host Southern New Hampshire at noon. The Wildcats need to win two games on Sunday to capture the NCAA East Region crown and advance to the NCAA Division II Baseball Championship.

Samluk cruised through his seven innings of work, only allowing three hits while walking one batter in securing the victory. Leading 11-0, Tyler Fries came on to tossed a perfect eighth inning before Nick Marics retired the Chargers in order in the ninth to close the door. Marics also recorded a strikeout, making it 13 on the afternoon for Wilmington.  

The scoring started with two outs and the bases empty in the top of the second inning with Sam Goines starting the rally with a single up the middle. Brandon Payne and Joe Marciano followed with back-to-back singles, with the first run coming around to score on a throwing error by the shortstop on Marciano’s grounder. Payne made it 2-0 on a first and third steal by the Wildcats, as he came racing home and beat the throw back from second base.

The Wildcats added three runs all with two outs in the third inning to really put the pressure on the Chargers. Jordan Johnson started the inning with a leadoff single, but was standing on third with two outs. Matt Lopes singled through the left side to score Johnson for the first run in the inning before a two run error by the second baseman allowed two more runs to come home and make it 5-0 in favor of the Wildcats.

A big five run sixth inning broke the game wide open for the Wildcats with Goines producing the big hit in the inning with a two run single to right. Payne doubled to right field in the following at-bat to score Goines for the final run of the inning, ending the frame with an 11-0 lead.

Johnson set the table for the Wildcat offense all afternoon, going 3-for-4 with a walk and scoring a pair of runs. Jonathan Rodriguez also batted 3-for-4, knocking in a run while scoring another for the game. Payne added three hits of his own for the afternoon, going 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI’s, also scoring another run to finish out his day. Lopes and Goines added two hits apiece for the Wildcats, with each collecting two RBI’s. Lopes, who went 4-for-4 in yesterday’s contest, added three runs scored in the game. Joe Marciano added the 14th and final hit of the afternoon for the Wildcats, going 1-for-4 with a walk on the afternoon.

The trio of pitchers held New Haven to three hits, while the Chargers committed three errors to help keep Wildcat offense at the plate and extend innings. John Melville took the loss for the Chargers, falling to 3-2 on the year after allowing 10 hits in 4.2 innings of work, giving up six runs (two earned) with five strikeouts.

The Wildcats face Southern New Hampshire at noon, and depending on the outcome of their contest with Franklin Pierce in Friday night’s game, might need to win twice against the host Penmen. If Franklin Pierce defeats SNHU, the Wildcats face the Penmen at noon with the winner moving on to face the Ravens in the championship game.

Continue to follow the action LIVE at the tournament’s home page via the Southern New Hampshire University Athletic website: http://www.snhupenmen.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/NCAA/NCAAGameday.