LYNDHURST, N.J. - - Felician had an answer for every rally the Wilmington University baseball team put together on Friday afternoon, sweeping the Wildcats, 6-5 and 8-4 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action at Lyndhurst Recreation.
The Wildcats (8-8, 2-2 CACC) threw punch after punch at Felician (10-6, 2-0 CACC) in each game of the doubleheader, but the Golden Falcons answered with multiple runs in the home half of the inning to secure each victory.
In the opener, the Wildcats regained a 5-3 lead with two runs in the top of the seventh, but the Golden Falcons answered with three runs of their own before closing out the game one victory, 6-5. In the nightcap, the Wildcats closed the gap to 5-4 with a four-run top of the fifth inning, but the Golden Falcons answered again with a three-run bottom of the fifth for the 8-4 victory and the sweep.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead against Felician in the opener starting with two runs in the fourth. Dan Hyatt opened the inning with a leadoff triple before Kyle Fries singled through the left side for the 1-0 lead. Julian Kurych was able to beat out a double play attempt with one out, scoring Fries from third base. Hyatt then connected with a two-out RBI single in the fifth for the 3-0 lead.
But the Golden Falcons answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. They received a leadoff triple to start the rally, later starting the scoring with an RBI single to second base. Another single through the right side brought in the second run before the home team tied the game with a sac fly to left.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the top of the seventh inning, getting a sacrifice fly from Hyatt before Kyle Fries followed with an RBI single for the 5-3 lead. But the home team punched right back, using a two-run triple and a sacrifice fly to take the lead for good.
The Wildcats threatened in the ninth, loading the bases with only one out, but Felician closer Dan Naif picked up back-to-back strikeouts to earn the save.
In the nightcap it was the home team that swing first, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after the fourth inning. The Wildcats made things interesting with a four-run fifth inning, however.
Fries started the rally with a one-out single before Regan Hidalgo doubled him home with a shot to the gap in right center. Now with two outs and two on, Kurych tripled to right center, chasing home Hidalgo and Lance Gilbert to close the gap to 5-3. Kurych later scored on a wild pitch, bringing the Wildcats to within one, 5-4.
But just as the momentum swing in favor of the Wildcats, the Golden Falcons answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, capped by a three-run homer down the left field line for the 8-4 lead.
The Wildcats again got to Naif in the seventh inning, but left two more runners on base as Naif slammed the door for the sweep.
Kurych and Fries led the offense with three hits in the doubleheader. Kurych went a combined 3-for-8 with a triple, three RBI, and a run scored. Fries finished 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Dan Hyatt went 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBI in the opener.
The Wildcats have a chance to get back on the field and redeem themselves on Saturday when they host Concordia at Wilson Field. First pitch of the CACC doubleheader is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.