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A four run ninth inning, capped by a bases loaded walk-off walk, allowed the No. 25 Wilmington University baseball team escape with a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep over Bloomfield, 16-2 and 10-9, on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field at Jim Sherman, Sr., Stadium.
Trailing 9-5 with only six outs remaining, the Wildcats (17-9, 5-1 CACC) scored a single run in the bottom of the eighth inning and loaded the bases with no outs before scoring four runs to walk off with a sweep. Bloomfield (1-9, 0-2 CACC) walked five batters in game two, including three in the bottom of the ninth, in coming up short in the upset bid.
With the two wins the Wildcats, ranked No. 25 in the latest NCBWA National Top 25 Poll, went 5-1 on the week, losing to only NCAA Division I in-state rival Delaware on Tuesday.
Game one was decided much earlier than the ninth inning, as the Wildcats put together 16 hits and 16 runs while Bloomfield helped the Wilmington offense out by committing five errors. The Wildcats scored multiple runs in each of the first four innings, jumping out to a 14-1 lead after four innings of play.
Eleven different Wildcats collected a hit in the first game, led by Joe Marciano’s 3-for-4 performance. Marciano singled in each his first two at-bats, then added a two-run triple in the bottom of the fourth, making it a 10-1 lead. Castro, Sam Goines, and Frank Samluk each collected a pair of hits, with Samluk also hitting a triple in the game. Castro collected three RBI’s while scoring three more, going 2-for-3 in the game.
Senior Dave Hatt picked up his third win on the season, throwing the first seven innings while only allowing two runs on five hits. He needed 106 pitches to get through the seven innings, improving to 3-0 on the season. Rob Gore came on to toss a scoreless eighth inning, picking up two strikeouts while Tim Racek finished the game with a scoreless ninth, striking out the side after allowing a one out walk.
Game two wasn’t as methodically played by the Wildcats, giving up a six run fourth to find themselves down 8-2 after four innings.
The comeback started with a three run fifth inning, being helped by a pair of Deacon errors and a bases loaded walk.
After Bloomfield was able to get one back in the top of the sixth inning, the Wildcat offense was silenced in the sixth and seventh innings. Feeling the urgency in the bottom of the eighth, the Wildcats were able to get their first two batters on with a pair of singles from Marciano and Frank Samluk. But the Wildcats were only able to get one of the runners home, as a pair of wild pitches moved the runners along, as Mariciano came home to make it 9-6 going into the ninth.
Nick Marics gave the Wildcats a chance by tossing a perfect top of the ninth, bringing the bats back up with one more opportunity.
Matt Lopes led off the inning with a double inside the third base bag, giving the team a lift. Jonathan Rodriguez followed with a single before Kyle Lindstrom walked to load the bases with no outs in the inning. After a pitching change, Brandon Payne took the first pitch he saw and chopped one just over the head of the drawn in first baseman, scoring two runs. Marciano then singled into right field, tying the game at 9-9 as Lindstrom came home to score, still with no outs in the inning.
With the game-winning run 90 feet away, the Deacons intentionally walked Frank Samluk to load the bases. After getting one out on a pop-up, the Deacons were unable to escape as Castro watched a 3-1 count come inside for ball four and the game-winning RBI.
Josh Hampton and Marciano led the offense with three hits each while Payne collected a team high three RBI’s in the nightcap. Marics picked up his first win of the year with the perfect ninth inning after getting the ball from Tyler Fries who tossed two scoreless innings to keep the Wildcats in the ball game.
The home doubleheader was the Wildcat’s last home game for the next 12 days, as the team will take to the road for their next six contests. The squad will head to Millersville on Tuesday for their second meeting of the season. First pitch in the single nine-inning game is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Published: Saturday, March 23, 2013 - New Castle, DE