HOCKESSIN, Del. - - A pair of late game comebacks allowed Goldey-Beacom to sweep the No. 21 Wilmington University baseball team, 12-10 and 4-3, in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday afternoon at Doyle Field.
Leading 10-7 with two outs and no one on in the bottom of the ninth, a Wildcat error led to five Lightning runs as they came back to stun the Wildcats, 12-10, in the opener. The Lightning scores 11 runs in their final two at-bats, coming back from a 7-1 deficit with only six outs remaining.
Five home runs highlighted the contest, with the Lightning hitting three and Kendall Small and Dan Hyatt hitting bombs for the Wildcats. But the final home run was of the walk-off variety, as Jeff Gillis' two-run homer was the capper in the comeback.
The Wildcats' first three batters had hits in the top of the first, as Dakota Graham and Max Carney singled before Kendall Small doubled to left for a quick 1-0 lead. Eddie Nevins grounded out but scored Carney for the 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Leading 3-1, Frank Nigro knocked in Dan Hyatt with an RBI single in the fourth before Max Carney gave the Wildcats a 5-1 lead with another RBI single in the inning. Dan Hyatt hit a solo homer to lead off the top of the sixth, his third of the year, giving the Wildcats a 7-1 advantage.
Starter Kyle Maxwell cruised through seven innings, only allowing a leadoff homer in the bottom of the second. He gave up another homer to start the bottom of the eighth, but then got the next two batters out. But two singles ended his day at 7.2 innings pitched, and the Lightning hit a three-run homer off reliever Matt Frost to cut the deficit to 7-5. A single and another homer later, the game was tied 7-7 in the eighth.
Kendall Small gave the Wildcats the lead again in the top of the ninth, launching a solo shot to left to start the frame. Brooks Ryan added an RBI single and Dan Hyatt collected an RBI via a groundout to give the Wildcats a 10-7 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Zach Frederick got the first two outs of the ninth inning in the first two batters, but then a double, single, and a walk brought the winning run to the plate. A three-hopper to second couldn't be fielded by Max Carney, allowing all three runs to come home to tie the game. Jeff Gillis then launch a two run homer, walking off with the 12-10 victory.
Looking for redemption from game one, the Wildcats could never get the bats going in the nightcap.
Goldey-Beacom took the lead in the bottom of the first, getting a leadoff single around to third with only one out. Brandon Abdul then singled in Justin Hill for the quick 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats answered quickly though, as Derek Donastorg tripled in Quintin Ivy with only one out in the inning. But Lightning starter Brandon Ferrie left Donastorg at third with back-to-back strikeouts.
Wilmington starter Noah Latshaw got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the third, inducing a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. But a two-out rally in the fifth ended with Goldey-Beacom taking a 3-1 lead. After Latshaw got the first two outs in the fifth, the Lightning collected back-to-back singles, and a double steal to put runners on second and third. A two-out single back up the middle plated both runners for the lead.
Quintin Ivy got one of the runs back in the top of the sixth, sending a ball out to center for his second home run of the season. But the Lightning had an answer in the home half, as Marshall Awtry got in on the home run act with a solo shot to left to regain a two-run lead, 4-2.
Kendall Small came off the bench to tie the all-time program lead with his 196th career hit, cutting the deficit in half with another solo homer to left center, 4-3. Dakota Graham then legged out an infield single, but Julian Kurych couldn't get a sacrifice bunt down, popping it up as the Lightning got Graham at first for the double play. A fly ball to center ended the game in favor of the Wildcats, 4-3.
The Wildcats have another crack at the Lightning with their next doubleheader, as they host Goldey-Beacom at Wilson Field on Friday afternoon. The first pitch of the CACC twinbill is set for 12:00 p.m.