PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Nine different pitchers and an early lead provided the Wilmington University baseball team with its third Bill Giles Invitational Championship, defeating No. 19 West Chester, 6-1, at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday afternoon.
It is the first Bill Giles Invitational Championship since 2014, with the Wildcats (17-14) also winning in 2007. The Wildcats defeated Jefferson, 6-3, in the first round before advancing to play at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Wildcats last played for the championship at Citizens Bank Park in 2015.
The offense gave the Wildcats all they needed in the top of the first, as they produced four runs on four hits while being aided with an error.
Christian Adorno started the inning with a one-out single before stealing second. Standing on second with two outs, Adorno opened the scoring by coming home on an RBI single to left center off the bat of Kendall Small. Frank Nigro kept the inning going with a single into center field, scoring Small from second for the 2-0 lead.
A dropped fly ball in right kept the inning alive for the Wildcats and Nick Macey made the Golden Rams (20-9) pay with a single off the glove of a diving first baseman, plating two more for the 4-0 lead.
Head coach Brian August kept the Golden Rams bats out of sync by using a new pitcher every inning, getting 1-2-3 innings from Zach Rumford and Matt Danz and a 6-4-3 double play to end the third form Bryce Carney. Noah Latshaw gave up a two-out double but fielded his position nicely and got the third out on a comebacker to the mount in the fourth. Ryan Bradigan produced a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth frame, and the offense added insurance runs for the rest of the game.
With one out and runners on first and third, an error at second base allowed the Wildcats to score the first run and take a 5-0 lead. Kendall Small then hit into a fielder's choice to first, but the double play ball coming back to first was off the mark, allowing Adorno to trot home for the 6-0 lead.
Zach Frederick shut the door in the sixth while only allowing a two-out single. The Golden Rams best chance came in the seventh inning, but Matt Frost relieved Tyler Campbell and got out of a bases loaded jam with two outs, inducing a grounder to third to only allow one run in the inning.
Frost stayed in and retired all three batters in the eighth before Justin Mears closed things out in the ninth.
Kendall Small went 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored in his first appearance at Citizens Bank Park while Adorno batted 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Nick Macey was the final Wildcat with multiple hits, going 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Zach Rumford was awarded the win on the bullpen day, pitching a perfect first inning after acquiring the lead.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday, as they face USciences at Wilson Field in a doubleheader. The first pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m.