CALDWELL, N.J. - - A five-run seventh inning and a no-hit bid into the seventh inning highlight the Wilmington University baseball team's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep over Caldwell, 9-6 and 6-1, on Sunday afternoon at the Kiwanis Oval.
Brad Scull had a no-hitter through the first six innings in the nightcap to lead the Wildcats (12-8, 6-2 CACC) but it was a five-run seventh inning in the opener that set the stage for the sweep over the Cougars (4-9, 1-3 CACC).
The Wildcats came out of the gates and scored the first two runs of the day in the top of the first inning, but the Cougars answered nicely with three runs of their own to take a 3-2 lead after one complete. The home team then added a run in the fourth and scored two more in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead out to 6-2.
The top of the seventh inning started with Kyle Fries reaching via an error. Dan Hyatt put runners on first and third with a single to right. Regan Hidalgo got the scoring started with another single to right, bringing in Fries. Another error on allowed Hyatt to come home to bring the score to 6-4 and then Julian Kurych walked to load the bases with one out. Mike Annone quickly cleared the bases with a three-run double to center field, bringing in Hidalgo, Rocky Ferrier, and Kurych.
The Wildcats added a run in the eighth as a pitch hit Joey Cautillo with the bases loaded and another in the ninth with a sacrifice fly from Hidalgo in the top of the ninth.
Tyler Newton came on and replaced starter Nick Grant in the fifth and went 1.1 scoreless innings to get the Wildcats to the top of the seventh for his first win of the year. John Hetterman came in and induced a ground ball double play to escape the seventh inning before Noah Latshaw struck out two in the ninth for his second save of the year.
The Wildcats got off to a better start in the nightcap, getting on the board in the top of the third. Annone started the scoring with a sacrifice fly before Kurych and Ferrier ran a first and third play to go up 2-0. Another Caldwell error allowed Kendall Small to score in the top of the fourth to put the visitors ahead, 3-0.
The offense was able to put the game out of reach in the fifth inning, as Annone brought in another run with a double down the left field line. Small added a sacrifice fly before Fries lifted one to short and Fries hustled home on the infield fly.
That was more than enough for Scull, as he set the Cougars down in order in the first three innings before allowing a one out walk in the fourth. But he still faced the minimum through the fourth inning as he induced a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame. He again set the Cougars down in order in the fifth and sixth innings before allowing a leadoff triple down the left field line in the seventh.
The Cougars broke the shutout on an error and picked up another hit in the inning before Scull closed the door for the complete game victory. Scull is now 1-2 on the season.
The Wildcats return home to face West Chester in a nonconference game on Tuesday at Wilson Field. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.