Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. File photo of Brooks Ryan against Post, taken by Frank Stallworth.
POMONA, N.Y. - - It took extra innings in each game but the Wilmington University baseball team swept Nyack, 8-6 (10) and 7-3 (11), to finish out its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season on Friday at Provident Bank Park.
The two wins give the Wildcats (17-25, 14-6 CACC) an opportunity to earn a First Round bye for the CACC Tournament, but they still need help. The Wildcats are currently second in the CACC standings, but do not hold the tiebreaker against Chestnut Hill (12-6 CACC) who could tie them with a sweep against Caldwell on Saturday. First place Felician (12-4) has four games left but does not hold the tiebreaker against either Chestnut Hill or the Wildcats.
It was the Wildcats that needed to make a late game comebacker in the opener, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth to force extra innings. The Wildcats than scored two runs in the top of the 10th before holding off the Warriors for the win.
Nyack scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game in the nightcap, but the Wildcats' offense opened up in the 11th, scoring four runs on five hits to earn the sweep.
The five-run ninth inning in the opener followed a five-run bottom of the eighth by the Warriors. Trailing 6-1, the bottom of the ninth started with an error to allow Kendall Small to reach. Brooks Ryan stayed hot with a two-run home run to set the wheels in motion. Julian Kurych followed with a double to restart the rally before Christian Adorno walked to bring the tying run to the plate.
Rocky Ferrier brought the Wildcats to within 6-4 with an RBI single while the throw moved both runners into scoring position. Now with one out, Adorno came home on a passed ball before Jesse Long tied the game with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Kyle Menchaca left a one-out single on third base in the bottom of the ninth and the Wildcats' offense went back to work in the extra inning. Small was the catalyst again, drawing a one-out walk. Ryan singled to put the go-ahead run in scoring position before Kurych put the Wildcats on top with another RBI single. Adorno followed with another RBI single, putting the Wildcats ahead 8-6.
Peter Monahan came on in the bottom of the 10th and left a one out double on second base, striking out the final two batters of the game for the save.
Ryan led the offense by going 3-for-5 with his homer, scoring three runs and knocking in two more. Kurych, Adorno, Ferrier, and Dan Hyatt all added two hits each as well.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats trailed 2-0 after two innings but grabbed a 3-2 lead by scoring twice in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the fifth. This time it was the Warriors that made the late game comeback, scoring a leadoff single with a one-out sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats had two runners on base with only one out in the 10th inning, but a 4-6-3 double play ended the threat. Kyle Fries tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th before the Wildcats put the game away in the 11th.
Ryan roped a triple to start the frame before Kurych came up with the game-winning RBI with a double. Adorno followed suit with a single to put runners on the corners before JR Gregory knocked in two runs with a single two batters later. Hyatt capped the scoring by executing a squeeze play, bringing in Gregory for the 7-3 lead.
Fries slammed the door in the bottom of the 11th to secure the sweep. Long went 3-for-5 with a run scored in the nightcap while Max Carney, Small, and Kurych all added two hits a piece. Kurcyh led with three RBI while Gregory had two off the bench.
The Wildcats will wait and see where they land in the CACC standings as the regular season comes to a close. In the meantime, the Wildcats will head to NCBWA nationally ranked No. 1 Millersville on Monday for a nonconference game.