MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - - One of the top teams in the NAIA, St. Thomas (Fla.) scored seven run late to defeat the Wilmington University baseball team, 8-2, on Thursday night at Paul Demie Mainieri Field.
The Wildcats (3-6) held leads of 1-0 after the top of the first and 2-1 after the top of the sixth, but the Bobcats (21-3) scored three in the sixth, one in the seventh, and three in the eighth to overcome the Wildcats. St. Thomas (Fla.) is ranked No. 9 in the latest NAIA National Poll.
The Wildcats were held to just three hits on Thursday night and freshman started Ryan Bradigan kept the Bobcats off balance through the first five innings. In his first career start, he only allowed three hits through the first five frames before giving way to the bullpen.
The offense got off to a quick start for the Wildcats, as Christian Adorno was the catalyst once again. He hit a one-out double to left field and was standing on third after a wild pitch. Kendall Small landed one safely into left field, easily scoring Adorno from third for the 1-0 lead.
The Bobcats answered in the bottom of the first with a run of their own, hitting a two-out single to left to plate a leadoff walk from third base.
The Wildcats left two runners on in the second inning and a two-out walk in the third, but never truly threatened again until the sixth.
Small stole second and moved on to third as the throw went into center field with one out. Max Carney scored the RBI with a run scoring ground out to put the Wildcats ahead, 2-1.
With two outs and no one on base, St. Thomas finally got to the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth. Five consecutive singles with two outs off reliever Matt Danz plated three runs for the home team, as they jumped ahead, 4-2.
A walk with the bases loaded forced in another run for the Bobcats in the seventh inning before the home team broke it open in the eighth with a two-out RBI double and a two-run home run.
Adorno, Small, and Frank Nigro accounted for the Wildcats three hits on Thursday night.
Danz was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits after getting the first two batters out in the sixth.
The Wildcats will look to snap a four-game losing streak by getting away from playing Florida teams on Friday. They will face NE10 foe Adelphi at Broward College with the first pitch slated for 7:00 p.m.