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Baseball’s Season Comes to a Close, Falling 1-0 to Top Seed and #8 New Haven in Regional Tournament

Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Dan Lauletta. May 19, 2018 vs. #8 New Haven at Regionals.
Copyright 2018; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Dan Lauletta. May 19, 2018 vs. #8 New Haven at Regionals.

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PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - - The Wilmington University baseball season came to a close on Saturday, dropping a 1-0 decision to top seed, host, and nationally ranked No. 8 New Haven in an elimination game in the 2018 NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament at Finnerty Field on the campus of Pace University.

With the loss, the Wildcats finished the 2018 season with a 35-21 record, winning the 2018 Bill Giles Invitational, the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, and returned to the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament for the first time since 2015. The Wildcats went 1-2 in the Regional Tournament.

Senior starter Chuck Delagol battled through six innings, allowing one run on an infield hit with two outs, seven hits, and two walks while striking out five batters. Reliever Zach Frederick stepped in and threw two scoreless innings with two punch-outs while Justin Mears tossed a scoreless ninth inning.

The Wildcats had their chances throughout the game, including leaving runners in scoring position in the first, third, and fourth innings. The Wildcats had a run taken off the board in the fourth inning, as they put their first two batters on with singles. Brooks Ryan ground one to short and the throw from the second base bag was wide of the first baseman, going all the way to the wall to allow Kendall Small to score. But Nick Grant was called for interference on the play for not sliding, resulting in the double play and Small having to go back to second base.

The Chargers (38-11) capitalized in the top of the fifth inning, as a chopper off the plate proved to be just out of the reach of Delagol off the back of the mound, scoring the runner from third with two outs in the inning.

The Wildcats threatened again in the sixth, as Christian Adorno singled to left to lead off the inning. Max Carney sacrificed Adorno to second base and Nick Grant hit an infield single to third. There was no throw to first on the plate, and Adorno rounded third and slipped on the wet turf, allowing the third baseman to catch Adorno in a rundown for the final out of the inning.

Kyle Fries hit a one out double to the wall in left to spark an eighth inning rally, but Fries was left at third base as the Wildcats couldn't come up with the much needed two out hit.

Kendall Small went 2-for-4 in the game, totaling 77 hits on the season. He surpassed three former Wildcats to break the program's single season hit record, passing Cody Holliday (2009), Josh Hampton (2013), and Brandon Payne (2013) who all finished their seasons with 76 hits.

Senior Nick Grant also went 2-for-4 in the game while seniors Christian Adorno and Kyle Fries rounded out the Wildcat hits on the day with one each.