Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of the aftermath of Max Carney's walkoff single in game two. Taken by Joseph Craig.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - A two-run walk-off single by Max Carney helped the Wilmington University baseball team sweep Dominican, 4-0 and 2-1, and remain perfect in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play on Friday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The pitching shined through for the Wildcats (8-15, 6-0 CACC) as Jay Kluka controlled the pace of play through the first game before Zach Rumford had his best outing of the year with six innings pitched in game two. But Dominican (7-19, 1-5 CACC) led through the top of the ninth inning before Carney won the game for the Wildcats.
Wilmington got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, giving Kluka the lead. Carney started the inning with a leadoff walk and Kyle Fries put runners on the corners with a single to center. Frank Nigro put the Wildcats on the board with another single, bringing in Carney from third. Now with two outs and runners on first and second, Dan Hyatt singled into right field to bring in Fries for the 2-0 lead.
Much like his last start, Kluka settled in after the fourth inning. He got out of a mini-jam in the fourth with a 1-6-3 double play before leaving one more runner on base in the fifth. He then set the Chargers down in order in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings before exiting.
The offense added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth, more than enough for Kluka on Friday. Christian Adorno doubled down the right field line to start the frame and Carney doubled past a diving center fielder to easier score Adorno. Carney was thrown out at third trying to stretch the double into a triple, however.
Rocky Ferrier restarted a rally with a single before Fries put runner son first and third with another base knock. Now with two outs, Fries stole second and the throw from the catcher sailed into center field to allow Ferrier to trot home.
Noah Latshaw relieved Kluka in the ninth inning and after quickly getting two outs, allowed the next two to get on with a single and a walk. But the freshman induced a ground to second to end the threat and the game.
Carney, Fries, and Nigro collected two hits each with Hyatt, Carney, and Nigro adding RBIs. Kluka improved to 2-1 on the year with five strikeouts and only allowing two hits but walked five.
The Wildcats had their chances in game two but couldn't scratch any runs across on Dominican starter Franklin Miller or reliever Corey Pic. The Wildcats left two on in the bottom of the second, and had a sharp liner snagged by the center fielder with a runner on in the third. Carney doubled in the fifth but was left at second and the Wildcats had the game-tying run thrown out at the plate in the sixth.
Brooks Ryan singled to lead off the seventh and stood on third with only one out. But a humpback liner was caught and Pic struck out a batter to end the threat.
The Chargers picked up their run in the fifth inning, as William Seymour tripled to the wall in right field. The relay throw was mishandled, allowing Seymour to come home for the unearned run.
Rumford was on the hook for the loss after allowing the unearned run on six hits, striking out five through six innings. Zach Frederick, Mike Torres, and Kyle Menchaca all tossed 1-2-3 innings to set up Carney in the ninth.
Ferrier started the inning with a single through the right side before Matt Alexander reached on an error by the third baseman on the sacrifice bunt attempt. Nigro moved the two runners along with a sacrifice bunt and two batters later Carney sent one back up the middle to score both runners without a throw.
Carney went 2-for-3 in the nightcap while Ferrier and Long each batted 2-for-4. Menchcaca earned his first win of the season in pitching the scoreless ninth.
The Wildcats' CACC doubleheader scheduled for Saturday at Concordia has been postponed to Monday afternoon. The Wildcats will look to keep their perfect CACC record starting with the first game at 1:00 p.m. on Monday.