NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Shippensburg jumped out to an early lead over the Wilmington University baseball team and never looked back, winning the nonconference contest, 16-8, on Tuesday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The Raiders (13-16-1) scored multiple runs in each of the first five innings, including six runs in the top of the fifth to take a 15-1 lead. The Wildcats (18-13) scored two in the seventh and five in the eighth, but it was too little too late as the Raiders cruised to the finish line.
Shippensburg's all-time home run leader Jake Kennedy belted his 14th of the season to open the scoring, a two-run shot to left in the top of the first. The Wildcats' got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when Regan Hidalgo blasted a double to the gap in left center, chasing Julian Kurych home to cut the deficit to 4-1.
The Raiders added to the lead with another two-run home run in the top of the third, and made it 9-1 in the top of the fourth with a three-run triple inside the first base bag. The visitors than stretched the lead out to 15-1 in the top of the fifth with six runs on hive hits, getting a pair of two-run doubles in the inning. A solo homer to left in the to of the seventh capped the scoring for the Raiders.
Joey Cautillo cut into the deficit with a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Rocky Ferrier and AJ Lerro with two outs in the frame. The Wildcats edged closer in the eighth, getting an RBI double from Logan Gilbert, RBI singles from Julian Kurych and Lerro, and scoring the final two runs on passed balls.
Kurych led the offense by going 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. Gilbert batted 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored while Hidalgo was the final Wildcat with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with the RBI double.
The Raiders' Zack Sims improved to 3-2 with the win, throwing 6.0 innings with six strikeouts, giving up one run on five hits. Tyler Newton was saddled with the loss, pitching the first two innings while allowing four runs on four hits. Lance Gilbert and Kyle Menchaca each threw a scoreless inning for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats have a chance to wash this loss away with a quick turnaround as they head to Philadelphia for a nonconference doubleheader on Wednesday. The teams will play a pair of seven-inning games with the first pitch scheduled for 1:30 p.m.