Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Jay Kluka taken by Joseph Craig.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The pitching bent but didn't break as the Wilmington University baseball team picked up a doubleheader sweep of USciences, 6-1 and 3-2, in its 2016 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference debut on Wednesday afternoon at Wilson Field.
Jay Kluka did not allow a hit after the fourth inning in game one and the combination of Zach Rumford, Mike Torres, and Kyle Menchaca battled through 11 hits but left 11 on base in the nightcap for the Wildcats' (4-13, 2-0 CACC) sweep.
The Devils (3-14, 0-4 CACC) took leads in each contest, but the Wildcats responded in the home half of the inning each time.
Kluka battled through early trouble, leaving the bases loaded in the top of the second, and needing to pick a pair of runners off second base to escape a jam in the third. The Devils finally broke through in the fourth, getting a two-out triple down the right field line to score a leadoff single. Kluka would not be the same since giving up that run.
The Wildcats retaliated in the bottom of the fourth, scoring a lead off double from Max Carney. The Wildcats put down a sacrifice bunt to move Carney to third before a sacrifice fly to left tied the game, 1-1.
Kluka set the Devils down in order in the fifth and the Wildcats took the lead for good in the home half. Julian Kurych led off the frame with a triple to the gap to right center and Christian Adorno flied out to right deep enough to score the go-ahead run. Jesse Long and Dan Hyatt restarted the inning with back-to-back singles and Long was able to score on a first and third play, as Hyatt was caught in a run down.
Kluka again set the Devils down in order in the sixth and the Wildcats added to their lead in the bottom half. Regan Hidalgo brought home Carney from third with a sacrifice fly, as Carney started off the inning with a bunt single. Carney was at it again in the seventh, as he launched a two-run double to the gap in right center to giving the Wildcats a 6-1 lead.
Kluka only allowed a one-out walk in the seventh the rest of the way, putting the Devils down in order in the eighth and ninth innings for the complete game victory.
The Devils got to game two starter Rumford in the second inning, as a two-out double with the bases loaded gave the visitors the early 2-0 lead.
The offense retaliated once again in the home half, not allowing USciences to get comfortable with a lead. Dan Hyatt singled home Adorno for the Wildcats' first run before Frank Nigro kept the inning alive by reaching on an error on a hard grounder to first, scoring Long. Carney made the error hurt with another single into center, giving the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
Rumford settled in and left two runners on in the third before setting the Devils down in order in the fourth. Rumford then left a runner on in the fifth before stranding two more in the sixth before exiting the game.
Mike Torres left a hit batter at first to end the seventh and then Nigro completed a double play with a strike out pick-off at first ended the top of the eighth. Torres than got the first out of the ninth inning but the Devils collected back-to-back infield single to put the tying run on second.
Kyle Menchaca came on to close the door, getting two big strikeouts to end the game for his second save of the year.
Carney collected five hits on the day, including going 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI, and two runs scored in the opener. Hyatt was the only other Wildcat to collect multiple hits on the day, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run in game two.
The Wildcats stay in the CACC and square off against current standings leader Felician on Saturday. The Wildcats take to the road to play the Golden Falcons in a doubleheader with the first pitch slated for 12:00 p.m.