Felician Earns First CACC Baseball Tournament Championship with 8-3 Victory over Wilmington
Base: Felician 8 - #11 Wilmington 3 - CACC Championship
Saturday, May 10, 2014 - New Castle, DE
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Senior Josh Hampton (left) was named All-Tournament after hitting 9-for-14 with two doubles and a triple in the Tournament. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Althea Davidson.
Junior Frank Samluk was named All-Tournament after hitting 6-for-12 with two runs scored and earning a win in pitching seven innings against Dominican. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Althea Davidson.
Wilmington University Rob Gore delivers a pitch against Felician College during the fourth inning of the CACC Championship game at Wilson Field in New Castle, Delaware, May 10, 2014. Copyright 2014; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Tim Shaffer
Second seeded Felician earned the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference’s automatic bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament with an 8-3 win over top seeded Wilmington University in the CACC Baseball Tournament Championship game at Wilson Field on Saturday.
Needing two wins to earn their fourth straight CACC Tournament Championship, the Wildcats (34-9-1 overall) succumbed to the second seeded Golden Falcons (29-18 overall) who came out of the winner’s bracket to win their first ever CACC Baseball Tournament Championship.
Felician was on the board first with a two run fourth inning, getting things started with two outs and the bases empty against junior starter Rob Gore.
Gore walked a batter to get things started for the Golden Falcons before Jay Collazo singled to left center. Brennan Price beat right fielder Jon Castro down the line as Castro attempted to make a diving catch but Price knocked in both runners with a close play at the plate as Collazo beat the throw to make it 2-0 Felician.
The Wildcats responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth, as Josh Hampton led of the frame with a walk. With two outs and Hampton on third, Sam Goines singled back up the middle for his first RBI of the CACC Tournament and cut the deficit in half.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the fifth, the Wildcats responded with another run in the home half, tying the game 2-2. Josh Swirchak doubled to right with one out before Frank Samluk put runners on the corners with a single through the right side. Fighting an 0-2 count, Hampton hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Swirchak from third to tie the game.
That is when things became interesting.
Joe Marciano grounded back to reliever Jack Fowler, and instead of making the play at first, Fowler put a hard tag on Marciano down the line, bringing both benches onto the field.
Once play was resumed, Felician stole the momentum collecting three straight hits on the first pitch of each at-bat against Gore, scoring a run a putting runners on second and third.
Jake Wersinger came on and picked up a much needed strikeout after loading the bases intentionally, but botched a squeeze play by attempting to bare hand the ball and shovel it home. Felician picked up two more runs on an RBI single to right by Corey McGuiness, taking a 6-2 lead after six innings of play.
Felician tacked on single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to widen the gap while the Wildcats were only able to score one in the seventh, leaving runners on in each of the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
Samluk kept Wilmington’s hopes alive with a one our single in the ninth, but John Holland picked up back-to-back strikeouts in his fourth inning of relief to end the game, starting the dog pile.
Hampton, Samluk, and Lopes were named to the CACC All-Tournament team for their effort through the team’s four games this weekend.
Hampton batted 9-for-14 with two doubles, a triple, three RBI and four runs scored, batting 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored on Saturday.
Samluk batted 6-for-12 in the tournament, scoring two runs while also picking up a win on the mound in seven innings of work against Dominican, striking out five batters.
Lopes batted 4-for-11 with a double and a team high six RBI in all four games, hitting three sacrifice flies as well.
Goines batted 3-for-4 on Saturday with an RBI while Lopes, Swirchak, and Samluk each collected two hits in the loss.
The Wildcat now await the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night at 10 p.m. to see if they will earn one of the three at-large bids to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament. The show will be aired on NCAA.com.