NEWARK, N.J. - - The Wilmington University baseball team needed to come from behind but scored late with crooked numbers to extend its winning streak to eight streak with a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader sweep over Bloomfield, 6-3 and 7-1, on Saturday afternoon at West Side Park.
Trailing 2-0 after four innings in the opener, the Wildcats (23-14, 19-5 CACC) put a five spot on the board in the top of the fifth to take command. Trailing 1-0 after six innings in the nightcap, the Wildcats posted three runs in the top of the seventh while scoring three more in the ninth for insurance runs.
The Bears (11-18-1, 6-12 CACC) scored two in the bottom of the first inning off game on starter Ryan Bradigan, but the freshman settled in and went five full in the start.
The Wildcats scored five in the top of the fifth inning to help give Bradigan his first collegiate win. Nick Grant singled and Dakota Graham walked to start the inning. Two batters later, Brooks Ryan was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch brought in the first run before Max Carney singled to tie the game, 2-2. Kendall Small gave the Wildcats the lead for good with a two-run double. Still with one out, Frank Nigro put the presser on with a ground ball while an error allowed Carney to score for the 5-2 lead.
The Bears hit a one out sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth, but Bradigan got a liner to be caught by Gage Walklett at third for the final out, ending his outing as well.
Nigro helped the Wildcats with an insurance run in the top of the seventh, hitting an RBI single to score Brooks Ryan from third.
Freshman Matt Danz relieved Bradigan in the sixth and retired all nine batters he faced with four strikeouts to preserve the Wildcats' lead. Justin Mears came on in the ninth and induced a game-ending 5-3 double play for his seventh save of the season.
Game-two starter Nick Grant didn't allow a hit in the nightcap until the fourth inning, but the Bears turned a leadoff double into a run and a 1-0 lead.
The offense left seven runners on base through the first six innings, but finally converted in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
An error put runners on the corners with only out for the Wildcats. The Wildcats again scored their first run of the game on a wild pitch. Now with runners on second and third, Max Carney doubled to bring in Brooks Ryan and Christian Adorno for the 3-1 lead.
Nick Grant left a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh, ending his outing but in line for the win.
Christian Adorno forced in a run with a bases loaded walk (his seventh walk of the day) in the top of the eighth for the 4-1 lead.
The Wildcats put the game away in the top of the ninth with a three-run inning. Kendall Small started the inning off with a solo shot for his first home run of the year. Nigro walked and Nick Macey singled to restart a rally and Nigro eventually came around to score on an error. Kyle Fries then made it hurt with an RBI triple for the 7-1 advantage.
Nick Grant struck out seven in seven innings, allowing one run on five hits to improve to 3-1 on the year.
The Wildcats step away from CACC play for their next contest, as they head to PSAC rival Kutztown on Tuesday afternoon. The single, nine-inning game is scheduled for a 3:00 p.m. first pitch.