MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - - Scoring early and often led the Wilmington University baseball team to a 13-9 victory over Adelphi on the final day of the team's trip to Florida on Saturday afternoon, played at Paul Demie Mainieri Field on the campus of St. Thomas University.
With the win, the Wildcats (6-5) went 4-3 on their Spring Break trip. The Wildcats finished with 11 hits while scoring 11 of their 13 runs in the first five innings. The Panthers (4-3) tried to make a game of it late, scoring eight of their runs in the final three innings, but the Wildcats held them off to cap their week with a victory.
The scoring started early for the Wildcats as they put a three spot up in the top of the first inning. Two hit-by-pitches and a Mike Annone single loaded the bases with only one out. The Panthers starter continued to struggle with his location, as he hit the next two batters to force in the game's first two runs. Max Carney then hit a sacrifice flight to right off a reliever, putting the Wildcats ahead, 3-0.
Wildcat starter Sean Deely worked through the Panthers in the first two innings before the Wildcats offense struck again. Lance Gilbert picked up his first hit as a Wildcats with a double down the right field line to start things off with one out. Frank Nigro put runners on first and third with a single before another HBP loaded the bases. Now with two outs, the first run of the inning came in on a wild pitch before Jesse Long doubled to center field to bring in the other two base runners. Rocky Ferrier then beat out an infield single, scoring Long to put the Wildcats up 7-0.
Dan Hyatt singled but the middle with two outs in the fourth to score Lance Gilbert, as two more Wildcats started the frame by each getting hit by another pitch. The Wildcats led 8-0 after four innings and after Deely left a lead off single on first in the fourth, the offense went to work again in the fifth.
Long was hit by a pitch to start the inning before Ferrier walked to put runners on first and second. Now with two outs, Small singled into left for an RBI single before Gilbert reached on a throwing error to allow another run to come home. A wild pitch capped the scoring for the Wildcats in the fifth, as they led 11-0.
The Panthers get to Deely in the bottom of the fifth, scoring an unearned run on a one out single to center before his last pitch of the day was a 6-4-3 double play.
Another hit-by-pitch brought in a run for the Wildcats in the seventh while Joey Cautillo hit a sacrifice fly to score AJ Lerro and give the Wildcats a 13-1 lead. But the Panthers wouldn't go away easily.
Adelphi started the inning with a single and double for their first run of the seventh inning before another double scored one more. Now with two outs, a wild pitch brought another Panther home before a triple tacked on another run. The Panthers would score five in the inning, adding another RBI single to bring the score to 13-6.
The Panther tacked on two more in the bottom of the eighth inning, using a single and an error to get things rolling. Adelphi finished with a pair of RBI singles in the frame.
Three walks in the ninth inning forced the Wildcats to bring Dan Hyatt from the shortstop position in to pitch with one out and the bases loaded. An error brought in a run but Hyatt buckled down and picked up two strikeouts to end the game and earn the save.
Ferrier and Annone led the offense wit two hits each while Lance Gilbert, Nigro, and Long led the way with two RBI each.
Deely went the first five while only allowing one unearned run in picking up the win. He struck out four batters with only two hits and one walk to improve to 2-0. Hyatt picked up his first save of the season.
The Wildcats return north but the schedule doesn't get any easier, as they return to action on Wednesday at Millersville. The Marauders were ranked 12th in the latest NCBWA Division II National Poll. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. in Millersville, Pa.