NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University secured the second seed in the upcoming Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament with a sweep of Bloomfield, 8-4 and 3-2, on Senior Day on Saturday at Wilson Field.
Senior Day was capped by a junior however, as Tom Freeland executed a squeeze play in the bottom of the seventh of the nightcap for the walk-off victory for the CACC sweep.
The Wildcats (27-17, 17-5 CACC) need to wait until Bloomfield makes up a game with Chestnut Hill scheduled for Sunday before determining if they play the Bears or Dominican in the play-in game next Saturday.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start in the opener, scoring in each of the first four innings. Kendall Small got things started with a two-out single to right to play Dan Hyatt in the bottom of the first. With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of the second, Jesse Long reached on an error and the Wildcats took full advantage. Rocky Ferrier and stole second and Hyatt came up with a two-run single to right for the 3-0 lead.
Bloomfield's (17-20, 11-9 CACC) first came in the top of the third and it also produced the Bears' first run, as Anthony Lantigua homered the opposite way down the right field line.
But the Wildcats answered with another run in the third, as Julian Kurych started the frame with a leadoff triple. Regan Hidalgo ground out to second to plate Kurych for the 4-1 lead. Hyatt added another RBI single with two-outs in the fourth, giving the Wildcats a 5-1 lead after four full innings.
Sean Deely struck out eight batters through seven strong innings, allowing two runs on four hits while walking three. He improved to 7-0 on the season with the win. Zach Rumford left a runner on in the eighth inning before Dan Hyatt closed out the contest, despite the Bears scoring two on a two-out triple.
Ferrier cleared the bases with a three-run double in the bottom of the eighth to give Hyatt and the Wildcats a cushion, however. Ferrier and Hyatt each collected three hits and three RBI in the opener while Small went 2-for-4.
Offense was harder to come by in the nightcap, as the teams traded single runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Small knocked in Kurych in the second before a Hyatt RBI groundout gave the Wildcats a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third. But the Bears tied it again in the top of the fourth, using a two-out error to score a run.
Senior Tyler Newton went the first 3.2 innings for the Wildcats, allowing two runs (one earned) n four hits. Classmate John Hetterman came in and tossed 2.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts before turning it over to senior Kyle Menchaca for the seventh.
Menchaca worked around a two-out walk and stolen base in the seventh, inducing a fly ball to center to send the top half.
Small doubled to the fence in right field with one out to spark the bottom of the seventh. Max Carney then looped one into the outfield, but Small needed to freeze at second and could only advance to third. Freeland stepped in and bunted a pitch up in the zone to the right side of the mound, far enough from the pitcher to allow Small to beat the toss home with the game-winning run.
The Wildcats wrap up the regular season this week at home, first with a single nonconference matchup with West Chester on Tuesday afternoon. The matchup against the Golden Rams is set for 3:00 p.m. at Wilson Field.