Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Julian Kurych scoring one of his three runs on Wednesday night at St. Thomas.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - - A three-run ninth inning, including a walk-off single ruined the chance for the Wilmington University baseball team to take down the No. 2 team in the NAIA, as St. Thomas (Fla.) came back to steal a 9-8 victory on Wednesday night at Paul Mainieri Field.
Crooked numbers filled the scoreboard on Wednesday night, as each threw punches and came away with big innings. But St. Thomas (16-10) threw the final punch of the night, hitting a game-tying two-run home run before a bloop single to right scored the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth.
The Wildcats (2-7) struck first, scoring four runs in the top of the third inning. Kendall Small started the inning with a single, the first hit of the game for the Wildcats. Now on third base with one out, Small walked home as Jesse Long singled into center field. Now with Long on second base and two outs, Julian Kurych smacked a double to left for the 2-0 lead before Max carny singled into center field to score Kurych for the 3-0 lead.
The rally continued as the Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs. Dan Hyatt was then plunked by a pitch to force in Carney, giving the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
Starter Zach Rumford worked out of a bases loaded, one-out jam in the second and induced a ground ball force out at third in the fourth to leave two more runners stranded. But the Bobcats got to Rumford in the fifth. The first three batters of the inning reached base, ending Rumford's night for Rudy Gervolino. The Bobcats got on the board on a hit by pitch before tying the game with a bases clearing triple to deep center. St. Thomas then singled off Matt Frost to bring in the go-ahead run and complete the five-run inning.
The Wildcats answered with three runs in the top of the sixth, getting help from a pair of Bobcat errors. Christian Adorno scored Regan Hidalgo with an RBI double to right, but the big blow came on an error by the first baseman. Nick Macey hit a comebacker to the mound, but the throw from the pitcher glanced off the first baseman's glove, allowing both Adorno and Kurych to score for the 7-5 lead.
Kurych and Carney teamed up again for the Wildcats' final run of the game, as both went the opposite way with singles, with Carney's bringing in Kurych to lead 8-6.
Kyle Menchaca left a runner on in the bottom of the eighth, but the Wildcats couldn't escape the runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Brad Scull hit the first batter of the inning before the Bobcats tied the game with a two-run home run to right.
With a runner on first base and one out, an error by Carney at second came back to bite the freshmen. The Bobcats followed the error with a blooper to right, soft enough to allow the runner from second to score easily for the walk-off win.
Kurych and Carney led the Wildcats by each going 2-for-4, as Kurcyh scored three runs in the game.
Following an off day on Thursday, the Wildcats return to action on Friday, returning to St. Thomas' field to take on Adelphi in a neutral site game. The first pitch on Friday is set for 1:00 p.m.