Down Early, Wilmington Baseball Rallies Back to Win Season Opener, 11-5, against Mansfield
Base: #17 Wilmington 11 - Mansfield 5
Saturday, February 22, 2014 - Sutherland, Va.
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Sophomore Mike Annone batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the season opener against Mansfield. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved.
Junior Matt Lopes batted 2-for-5 with a double, knocking in three RBIs and scoring a run on Saturday against Mansfield. Copyright 2013; Wilmington University. All rights reserved
A constant attack helped the Wilmington University baseball team win its season opener, 11-5, over Mansfield on Saturday night at the Dinwiddie County Sports Complex
Both Josh Swirchak and Matt Lopes collected three runs batted in while Frank Samluk and Mike Annone collected three hits each to lead the Wildcats (1-0) in its 2014 season opener. Mansfield (1-1) came out and scored three runs in the bottom of the first, but the Wildcats scored at least one run from the second to the sixth inning to come back for the win.
Jamie Treml earned the victory on the mound for the Wildcats, tossing five innings while striking out 10 batters. He allowed the three runs in the first inning, but did not allow another run going forward in his first game played since March 15 of last year.
Rob Gore came in and pitched two and two-thirds innings, striking out for batters before being relieved by Peter Monahan for the last out of the eighth inning. Monahan struck out the only batter he faced, ending the inning with two runners on base. Nick Marics came on and quickly shut the door, earning two strikeouts in closing out the contest.
Joe Marciano got the Wildcats on the board first with a solo shot to right field, his first home run of the season. But it was the third inning in which the Wildcats took control of the game, as they put three on the board using two hits and aided by two errors from Mansfield. With Josh Hampton and Sam Goines on base, Lopes doubled to right center, bringing both runs around. Annone knocked in the final run of the inning with a single, bringing in Lopes from third.
Hampton knocked in the first run of the fourth inning on a single to right before Lopes added another RBI with a single to third base.
The runs continued in the fifth inning for the Wildcats, as Samluk doubled in Annone who reached by a walk to start the inning. Swirchak added an RBI groundout to second, scoring Samluk from third.
Wilmington scored a run without registering a hit in the sixth, aided by an error to allow Goines to reach first to start the inning. Now with Goines on third, Marcianio flied out to center, deep enough to allow Goines to score.
Leading 9-5 in the ninth, the Wildcats added to their lead with two runs in the final frame. With two outs and the bases loaded, Swirchak added to his Wilmington debut with another single, knocking in two runs to bring the Wildcats to their final score.
Marics came in the bottom of the ninth to close the door, getting a come backer grounder and a pair of strikeouts to finish the game.
It is the fifth time in the last six seasons the Wildcat have started the season with a victory. Last year’s loss against St. Thomas Aquinas to begin the season snapped a four season opening game win streak.
The Wildcats make up their scheduled season opener against Mercyhurst on Sunday at 10:00 a.m., followed by a contest against Saint Rose at 1 p.m. Both games will wrap up the opening weekend at the Dinwiddie Sports Complex Tournament.