Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo during pregame of Military Appreciation Day with the Dover Air Force Base Honor Guard and the Delware Patriot Guard with the presentation of the colors. Photo by Frank Stallworth.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - In a battle of two of the top teams in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, the Wilmington University baseball team failed to convert on their opportunities as Chestnut Hill came away with the sweep, 6-3 and 4-3, on Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The Wildcats (10-20, 8-4 CACC) left 18 men on base in the doubleheader, but still had a chance to come away with a split after leading into the eighth inning of the nightcap. Chestnut Hill (17-16, 8-4 CACC) used a four-run fourth inning in the opener and a two-run eighth inning in the nightcap to take the lead for good in each game.
A pair of sacrifice flies in the first two innings gave the visitors the early lead, but the Wildcats battled back with a two run second to tie the contest. Rocky Ferrier was the catalyst in the frame, singling to right to start things off. But Ferrier was standing at first as two outs were recorded before Kendall Small stepped in and roped a double to center, chasing Ferrier all the way home from first. Frank Nigro followed with another RBI double, tying the game 2-2.
The Wildcats had a chance in the third, as they loaded the bases with one out without recording a hit. But the Griffins battled and picked up a strikeout before ending the inning with a fly ball.
The Griffins used that momentum to take the lead in the next half inning. A bases loaded wild pitch put the Griffins up before a one-out single make it 4-2. Chestnut Hill added two more runs on a fielder's choice and an RBI groundout to first, extending the lead to 6-2.
The home team got one back in the fifth on an infield single by Ferrier, but they left two on in the sixth, one in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings.
Ferrier and Nigro collected two hits each while Matt Frost was saddled with the loss in allowing four runs in three innings.
The Wildcats allowed a sac fly and a run on a wild pitch to find them down 2-1, but a two-run fifth put the home team back in front. Jesse Long started the rally with a leadoff double off the fence in left field. Trying to move the runner over, Ferrier reached as the first baseman's throw went awry, bringing Long home from second. Max Carney followed with a blooper into right, scoring Ferrier for the 3-2 lead.
Reliever John Hetterman shut the Griffins down in order in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, but a leadoff single in the eighth derailed the righty's momentum. A walk put the tying run at second and in came Kyle Menchaca
A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, but then Menchaca lost control of the strike zone. The junior walked the next three batters, bringing in the game tying and go-ahead run before striking out the final two batters.
The Wildcats left a two-out walk on base in the eighth and then left Long on first to end the game, as he hit a one-out single in the ninth.
Long went 2-for-3 in the nightcap as the only Wildcat with multiple hits. Kendall Small hit a long single to right center in the second inning, scoring Regan Hidalgo from first for the game's first run. Hetterman was saddled with the loss and falls to 0-4 on the year.
The Wildcats head out of conference and take to the road for their next two games, as they head to Bridgeport on Tuesday afternoon. The single game starts at 4:00 p.m.