NEWARK, Del. - - An 11th inning sacrifice fly kept the Wilmington University baseball team's season alive as the Wildcats defeated Nyack, 2-1, in walk-off fashion in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference First Round game on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
With the win, the second seeded Wildcats (29-19) move on to the double-elimination portion of the CACC Tournament next week, hosted by Post University in Waterbury, Conn. The tournament will begin on May 11 with a champion to be crown on Saturday, May 13.
The game featured a pair of aces and they both showed up to play. The first inning alone featured 12 pitches combined and lasted a mere eight minutes.
Seventh seeded Nyack (23-20) struck first however, as a two-out walk in the top of the third came back to hurt starter Sean Deely. Two two-out singles later, the Warriors held a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats didn't collect their first hit until the bottom of the sixth, as Nyack starter Jack Kelley only gave up one walk in the first five innings. Frank Nigro broke the ice for the Wildcats with a leadoff double in the bottom of the sixth, but he was left stranded at third as Kelley induced a foul out to third and an inning ending pop up in the infield.
Deely ran into trouble in the seventh as the Warriors loaded the bases with only out. Deely escaped the jam by picking up a big strikeout before inducing an inning ending fly ball.
Julian Kurych started the eighth inning with an infield single before Frank Nigro moved him to second with a sac bunt. Jesse Long stepped in and took the first pitch he saw to left, landing it just inside the foul line to score Kurych with the tying run, 1-1.
The Warriors threatened again in the ninth, hitting a one-out double to right center. But reliever Zach Rumford settled down once again and induced a lofted fly ball to left before getting a big strikeout to strand the runner on third.
Nyack put their leadoff runner on base once again in the 10th, but Rumford induced back-to-back ground balls to the left side to get out of the inning with the runner on second.
Rocky Ferrier started the bottom of the 11th with a push bunt that snuck under the pitchers glove and towards the shortstop. Dan Hyatt moved Ferrier into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Kendall Small lined a base hit into left field, but Ferrier needed to freeze on the line drive and only moved up to third base.
Deely pitched eighth innings while striking out five in the no decision. Rumford came on and pitched the final three innings, striking out four while only allowing three hits and a walk to improve to 4-3 on the year.
Chestnut Hill defeated Bloomfield, 2-0, on Saturday to advance to the CACC Tournament as well. Philadelphia travels to Felician and Dominican travels to Post in the other two play-in games that were pushed to Sunday.