Video Recap at Bottom of Page
View New Haven's Video Recap Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCVOzuey_KY&feature=youtu.be
PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - - St. Thomas Aquinas put the Wilmington University baseball team away late in the first game of the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament, 8-3, on Thursday, sending the Wildcats to the loser's bracket of the double elimination tournament hosted by New Haven at Pace University's Finnerty Field.
The seventh seeded Wildcats (34-20) had opportunities against the second seeded Spartans (37-13), but couldn't come up with the much-needed hit. St. Thomas Aquinas scored an unearned run in the second but scored their final seven runs in their final four at-bats, including five combined in the sixth and seventh innings.
A two-out error kept the bottom of the second alive for the Spartans, and the reigning Regional Champions came through with a two-out RBI to take a 1-0 lead.
Dakota Graham single through the right side in the top of the fifth, and Nick Macey walked to put two runners on with only one out. But the Spartans got out of the jam with a deep fly ball to left and a ground ball to second.
The Spartans answered in the bottom half of the inning, starting the frame with a leadoff triple to left center. A one-out single gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead against starter Brad Scull.
The Wildcats threatened again in the sixth, all starting with two outs and the bases empty. Nick Grant walked and Brooks Ryan singled back up the middle. Frank Nigro singled through the left side, but too hard to score Grant from second, loading the bases. But the Spartans escaped once more, getting Graham to fly out to center to end the inning.
Coming out of the jam, the Spartans swung the momentum in the bottom half, hitting a one-out RBI triple into the right field corner before taking a 4-0 lead on a wild pitch.
Christian Adorno put the Wildcats on the board in the top of the seventh, launching a two-out solo homer to left, his fourth of the season, to trail 4-1.
But the Spartans stole the momentum once again in the bottom of the seventh, hitting back-to-back home runs to left field to start the inning. They followed with a two-out RBI single, putting the game out of reach, 7-1.
A final effort fell short in the top of the eighth as Brooks Ryan hit an RBI double off the wall in left with no outs. But the Wildcats could only manage one more run in the inning, scoring on a wild pitch before the Spartans closed the door with the final two outs of the frame.
The ECC Player of the Year Giovanni Dingcong put a stamp on the game in the bottom of the eighth, hitting his second solo home run of the game to left to close out the scoring.
Starter Brad Scull battled through 5.1 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits, striking out three batters. He fell to 9-3 on the year with the loss. Brooks Ryan led the offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
The Wildcats will now play sixth seeded Merrimack in an elimination game on Friday at Finnerty Field. First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.