Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Maxy Carney against Post, taken by Frank Stallworth.
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. - - The Wilmington University baseball team scored early but the back end of nationally ranked No. 2 Millersville's bullpen held the Wildcats in check as they fell, 9-5, in a nonconference game on Monday afternoon at Cooper Park.
All the runs in the game came in the first five innings, with the Wildcats (17-26) jumped out to a 2-0 lead with their first at-bat. The Marauders (44-4) score two runs in each of the second, third, and fourth innings, and capped things off with a three-run fifth inning. Both teams' bullpens than took over and allowed three hits combined in the final four innings.
The Wildcats jumped out in front of the Marauders, ranked No. 2 in Monday's edition of the Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division II National Poll, converting their first opportunity of the afternoon. Dan Hyatt and Max Carney started the game by walking before Kendall Small moved both of them into scoring position. Two batters later, Julian Kurych brought in both runs with a two-out single to left.
The next five runs in the game came on three swings of the bat, as the home team tied the game with a two-run homer to right in the bottom of the second. Carney followed with a leadoff solo shot in the top of the third, but the Marauders took the lead for good with another two-run blast to left in the bottom of the third, 4-3.
Three singles to start the bottom of the fourth produced another run for the home team before the Marauders made it 6-3 by bringing in another run on a 6-4-3 ground ball double play.
The Wildcats cut into the deficit in the fifth as Hyatt, Carney, and Small all singled to load the bases without recording an out. The Wildcats couldn't take full advantage of the opportunity though, as Brooks Ryan struck out before Kurych brought in a run with a sacrifice fly. Now with two outs, Christian Adorno reached on a fielding error, allowing Carney to score and bring the Wildcats to within a single run.
But Millersville answered right back in the bottom of the fifth, taking the air out of Wilmington's balloon. An RBI groundout, and back-to-back RBI singles produced three runs for the Millersville, regaining a 9-5 lead.
Carney led the Wildcats by going a perfect 3-for-3 with his solo shot and three runs scored. Small added two hits in three at-bats while Kurych went 1-for-3 with a team high three RBI. Jay Kluka took the loss in three innings of work, allowing four runs on five hits. He is now 4-2 overall.
The regular season comes to a close on Tuesday for the Wildcats, as they head to Dowling for another nonconference doubleheader. The teams will play a nine-inning game to start and finish with a seven-inning nightcap. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.