Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Brooks Ryan against Queens, taken by Frank Stallworth.
LYNDHURST, N.J. - - Big two-out hits carried the Wilmington University baseball team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference sweep over Felician, 8-3 and 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at Lyndhurst Recreation Park.
With the sweep and help from Bloomfield over Chestnut Hill, the Wildcats (6-13, 4-0) bypass Felician (14-15, 6-2 CACC) and jump into first place in the conference, although early. The Wildcats are now the lone unbeaten team remaining in the CACC.
Of the 12 combined runs in the doubleheader, 10 of them came on two-out hits. Only the two runs in the sixth inning of the opening game came with less than two outs.
Two out RBIs carried the Wildcats in the opener, as they scored two runs in the fifth with two outs, two in the sixth, and capped the scoring with four runs on two outs in the seventh.
Trailing 1-0 after four complete innings, the Wildcats got on the board in the top of the fifth. Rocky Ferrier led off the frame with a single, but was standing on third base as the Golden Falcons recording two outs. But redshirt freshman Max Carney doubled to the gap in left center to tie the game, 1-1, and classmate Julian Kurych brought Carney home with a single down the left field line in the next at bat.
Starter Matt Frost needed only 10 pitched to get through the bottom of the fifth in order to bring up the offense once more. A hit batter, a walk, and a one out single loaded the bases for the Wildcats. Freshman Frank Nigro worked a five-pitch walk to bring in Regan Hidalgo before Kyle Fries put the Wildcats ahead, 4-1, with a single to right to score Dan Hyatt.
Frost allowed a leadoff walk in the sixth, but left runners on the corners by getting a grounder to second. Frost went the first 6.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits for his second win of the season. The offense made sure of the win with a four-run seventh.
With two outs and the bases empty, Christian Adorno doubled down the right field line and was standing on third following an error. Hyatt singled home Adorno before Ferrier added another RBI single to score pinch runner Brooks Ryan. Nigro completed the scoring with an RBI single, while a throwing error by the Felician right fielder allowed Ferrier for the 8-1 advantage.
The nightcap starting with a two run top of the first inning for the Wildcats, but it was late game heroics that allowed the Wildcats to earn the sweep.
Trailing 3-2 after seven innings, the Wildcats needed two-out magic to take the lead in the eighth. With runners on first and second and two outs, Jesse Long singled into right center to tie the game, 2-2. Carney followed suit with a single up the middle, bringing in Nick Macey for the go-ahead run.
Kyle Menchaca came on in the bottom half, but quickly ran into trouble by putting the first two batters on base. A sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position but the junior induced a chopper to third, and Hyatt gunned the runner down at the plate attempting to score. Menchaca then escaped the inning with a ground ball to short.
The Golden Falcons put the pressure on again in the ninth, putting two runners on base with two outs. But Menchaca zoned in and induced a chopper to first base to end the game.
John Hetterman went the first four for the Wildcats, allowing a run on two hits while striking out four batters. Mike Torres picked up the win by finishing out the bottom of the seventh inning. Menchaca recorded his third save of the year in the nightcap.
Carney, Ryan, and Long each recorded two hits in the game with Ryan hitting a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the first.
The Wildcats take their four-game winning streak into a nonconference matchup on Tuesday as they return home to face Bridgeport. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.