MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - Missed opportunities loomed large for the Wilmington University baseball team as it fell to New Haven, 7-3, on the final day of the Northeast Challenge at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach.
The Wildcats (2-2) collected nine hits in the game but left 11 runners on bases, while New Haven (4-0) was able to convert on its chances, collecting nine hits as well but only leaving five runners on base.
The Chargers got on the board first with a run in the top of the second inning before adding two more in the top of the third on an RBI single and a failed pickoff attempt at third base.
The Wildcats were able to get back into the game in the home half of the third inning with a pair of two-out RBIs. Logan Gilbert started the inning with a lead off double, but he was still on second as two outs were recorded. Max Carney stepped in and singled to right, putting the Wildcats on the board as Gilbert came home. A hit by pitch loaded the bases and Nick Macey walked to bring in the second run of the inning to bring the Wildcats to within 3-2. But the Wildcats left the bases loaded as the Chargers were able to induce a foul out to end the inning.
A double and a walk started the fifth inning for the Chargers and a double to left brought in two more runs for New Haven. The Wildcats left two on in the sixth and had a chance in the seventh to get back in the ball game. Rocky Ferrier started the inning with a single followed by a walk and a Mike Annone infield single to load the bases without an out recorded.
But that was quickly erased as Frank Nigro sharply lined a pitch but right at the third baseman who made the catch and flipped it to second for the double play. Kendall Small than flew out to right to end the inning and the threat, keeping the game at 5-2.
Another double brought in a run for the Chargers in the top of the ninth before a throwing error settled the score at 7-2. The Wildcats late game comeback fell short in the bottom of the ninth, as they were only able to get one run despite collected three straight singles and had runners on first and second with one out. Annone brought in the inning's run with a hot shot to center, scoring Ferrier.
Ferrier, Carney, Annone, and Gilbert collected two hits each for the Wildcats with Gilbert's double being the only extra base hit.
Brad Scull took the loss while pitching into the fifth inning, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits. He struck out five batters while allowing two walks as well. Justin Mears made his Wildcats debut with four innings pitched, striking out three while only giving up two hits.
The Wildcats have a week off before returning to action with their annual trip to South Florida. They will return to the diamond on March 6 with a doubleheader against Stonehill on the campus of Lynn University.