Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Brooks Ryan stealing third and scoring in the eighth inning against Dominican, taken by Frank Stallworth.
NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Three unearned runs in the top of the first inning held firm for Dominican as the Wilmington University baseball team's season came to a close, 3-1, in the first round of the 2016 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon at Wilson Field.
Both starting pitchers went the distance in the elimination game, but it was the sixth seeded Chargers' (18-26) ace Corey Pic that never pitched without a lead as the visitors jumped out early in the contest. Third seeded Wildcat (17-29) ace Jay Kluka settled in after the top of the first inning, giving the offense a chance throughout the day.
Kluka's control was off the mark in the early going, walking the first batter of the game. Now with one out, a fly ball to dropped on the run by Jesse Long, setting up for the big inning. The Chargers' cleanup hitter started the scoring with a single into left before a two-out double to right center brought in two more runs for the quick 3-0 lead.
The offense put runners on base in each of the first two innings, but ground ball double plays quickly ended any threat. Julian Kurych singled with two outs in the fourth and Max Carney singled with two outs in the sixth, but both were left at first base as the inning ended.
The Wildcats threatened in the eight and finally broke the ice. Brooks Ryan started the inning with a single through the left side. Now with two outs and Ryan on second, the freshman took off for third for the stolen base and was able to come home as the throw from the catcher was wide of the bag and sailed into left field.
Christian Adorno worked a one-out walk in the top of the ninth, but the junior was left on second base as the inning, and consequently the game, ended.
Kluka, a senior (at left, taken by Joseph Craig), went all nine innings while striking out seven batters. He allowed three hits and four walks while all three runs were unearned. Pic allowed four hits and one unearned run while picking up four strikeouts. He only walked two batters in the win.
Carney, Kurych, Ryan, and Rocky Ferrier picked up the hits for the Wildcats.
The Chargers move onto the double elimination portion of the CACC Tournament, squaring off against second seeded Chestnut Hill on Thursday at 12:00 p.m. at Wilson Field.