PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The Wilmington University baseball team split its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader with Jefferson, losing the first game, 5-2, but coming back to win the second game in the 13th inning, 8-7, at Alumni Field on Wednesday afternoon.
Despite having eight hits to the Rams' six in the contest, the Wildcats couldn't hold on to their 2-0 lead, as the Rams took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Eddie Nevins would start the second inning off for the Wildcats by reaching first on a throwing error by the third baseman, before Max Carney would single up the middle, to bring up Julian Kurych, who singled to right field and brought in the game's first run. Frank Nigro would follow Kurych with his own single to second base to score Carney and give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Jefferson would make it a one run game in the bottom half of the inning on a solo homerun, but the damage did not come until the bottom of the third and fifth inning. The Rams took the lead on a two-run shot in the bottom of the third to take the lead by one, making it 3-2. With the bases loaded in the fifth, Jefferson came through with two more RBI to give them the 5-2 lead.
The Wildcats would get things going in the top of the sixth with the bases loaded with only one out, but could not get any runs in, as the Rams would retire the final two batters in order.
It took until the top of the 13th inning and 21 hits for the Wildcats (29-16, 17-11 CACC) to score the go-ahead run, before Justin Mears could retire the side in the bottom half, as WilmU defeated Jefferson, 8-7, to take game two.
Down 2-0 after two full innings, freshman Derek Donastorg got the Wildcats started in the top of the third with a single to left field. With two on, Dakota Graham would single up the middle to score Donastorg, before bringing Kendall Small up with the bases loaded. Small would hit a sacrifice fly far enough out left field to score Brett Nowell and tie the game up at two.
The Rams would retake the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on a two-run homerun out to center, but the Wildcats would answer right back in the top of the sixth, on a three-run inside the park home run from Quintin Ivy out to center field to retake the lead, 5-4.
Now, with a tie ballgame heading into the top of the eighth inning, Frank Nigro started things of with single up the middle. With two outs, and a runner on third, Matt Stepnoski singled through the left side to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead, before Kendall Small doubled to right field to score Stepnoski and give WilmU another to make it 7-5.
Despite the comfort of Small's RBI, it didn't take long for the Rams to answer once again in the bottom half of the inning. They would get three hits in the inning, with the help of a Wildcat error to score two runs and re-tie the ballgame up at 7-7.
Wilmington would have their chances in the next few innings, but lead runners in scoring position would stay put. Jefferson would also get runners to second, but would strand them in both the top of the 11th and 12th innings.
It finally came in the top of the 13th that Quintin Ivy started the inning off with a single up the middle, before Max Carney could advance him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore Gage Walklett would be the next batter for the Wildcats, as he singled through the left side to score Ivy and give WilmU the go-ahead run. Justin Mears would come in to pitch the bottom half of the inning, and retire the side, including two back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
Kendall Small went 4-for-6 with two RBI, including a double, as Max Carney went 3-for-6. Quintin Ivy was 2-for-6 with a three-run homerun. Matt Stepnoksi went 2-for-6 with one RBI, while Mithcell Leslie went 3-for-3 off the bench. Dakota Graham and Gage Walklett finished with one RBI apiece.
Dan Hyatt would go 6.0 IP, allowing seven hits and four earned runs, with seven strikeouts. Kendall Small came in to pitch in the eighth inning and went 3.2 IP, allowing just three hits and one walk, with six strikeouts. Danny Sullivan relieved Small in the bottom of the 12th and would get his first win of his career. Justin Mears would earn his fourth save of the year.
Wilmington is back to Wilson Field on Friday afternoon for Senior Day with Jefferson. Game one of the doubleheader is set for 12:00 p.m.