NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The strong starting pitching of Zach Rumford and Brad Scull led the Wilmington University baseball team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and home opening sweep of Post, 11-3 and 4-2, on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
Rumford went eight strong innings in the opener for the Wildcats (5-9, 2-0 CACC), giving 14th year head coach Brian August his 400th career victory as a collegiate head coach, all at the helm of the Wildcats.
The Wildcats used 12 hits and four Eagle (8-10, 0-2 CACC) errors to score 11 runs in the opener, and collected six hits to go along with three Eagle errors in the nightcap for the sweep.
The Eagles got to starter Zach Rumford first, giving the senior his first earned run of the season in the second inning. A leadoff walk came back to haunt Rumford, as a two-out single back up the middle on an 0-2 count plated the run for the 1-0 lead.
But the lead didn't last long for Post, as the Wildcats answered in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Kyle Fries hit his first collegiate career home run, launching one to right center t quickly tie the game, 1-1. An error kept the Wildcats going in the inning, as Dakota Graham reached and Brett Nowell put runners at the corners with a hit-and-run single through the right side. Frank Nigro then executed a squeeze bunt to put the Wildcats ahead, 2-0.
Rumford worked around singles in the third and fourth innings before setting the Eagles down in order in the fifth and seventh innings. The offense gave him all the cushion he needed in the bottom of the sixth.
Again it was Fries that started the rally, hitting a one-out solo homer to right field for his second round-tripper of the game. Graham followed with a double inside the third base bag. Nowell singled and Nigro brought in another run with a single into left center. Max Carney stepped in and did the most damage, hitting a double inside the first base bag for two runs, giving the Wildcats a 6-1 lead.
Four more runs came home in the bottom of the seventh inning to cap the scoring. Nowell singled in Sean Deely and the throw back into the infield got away, allowing Fries to score from second. Carney was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Christian Adorno ended the scoring with a sac fly to center, 11-1.
Rumford struck out nine batters in eight innings, allowing one run on five hits and one walk. Fries, Graham, and Nowell all finished with two hits each. Carney led the team with three RBI.
The nightcap was Brad Scull's turn to deal on the mound, as he went seven strong innings with six strikeouts, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks.
The offense struck quickly, putting three runs on the board for Scull in the bottom of the second. A single, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI single was exactly how the Wildcats drew it up for the game's first run, as Graham knocked in Nick Grant. Now with two outs, Adorno singled into left field, knocking in both Nowell and Nick Macey for the 3-0 lead.
Scull didn't allow a base runner until the fifth inning, but left a walk and a two-out single on base to end the threat.
Two more sacrifice bunts brought in the Wildcats' fourth run, as Macey squeezed home Graham in the bottom of the sixth.
Scull ran into trouble in the seventh inning, all with two outs and the bases empty. A hit by pitch and a walk led to a two-run double into the corner in right field, cutting the Wildcats' deficit in half, 4-2. But Scull picked up the strikeout to end the frame and his day.
Graham and Nowell collected two hits each while Adorno led with two RBI. Scull improved to 3-1 with the win.
The Wildcats head to defending NCAA Division II National Champion West Chester for their next game on Tuesday. The single, nine-inning game is slated for a 3:00 p.m. start in West Chester, Pennsylvania.