BEL AIR, Md. - - The Wilmington University baseball team started its run through the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule with an important doubleheader sweep over Philadelphia, 4-2 and 1-0, on Monday night on the campus of Harford Community College.
Timely hitting back by a pair of complete pitching performances enabled the Wildcats (8-5, 2-0 CACC) to power past the Rams (2-10, 0-2 CACC). The Wildcats hit a home run in each game, including the only run in the nightcap off the bat of Julian Kurych in the bottom of the third inning.
The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the third in the opener with a two-run shot to right by Mike Annone. Starting pitcher Sean Deely ran into trouble in the top of the fourth inning as the Rams put runners on second and third with only one out. The sophomore was able to pitch out of the jam with only allowing one run, getting a pair of ground outs to exit the inning.
But the Rams tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, as Brandon Quaranta hit his league leading seventh home run of the season to center field, knotting the game at 2-2.
Deely struck out eight batters in five inning of work and the bullpen was able to keep the Rams in check until the bats came around again. Dan Hyatt started the bottom of the seventh with a leadoff single before Kyle Fries moved him over with a sacrifice bunt. Rocky Ferrier continued his hot start to the season with a single back up the middle, easily scoring Hyatt from second for the 3-2 lead.
The Wildcats added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Frank Nigro got his bat on the ball as Kendall Small was moving from third on the pitch. The RBI groundout made it 4-2 after eight full.
Relievers John Hetterman, Rudy Gervolino, and Zach Frederich all tossed a scoreless inning, making way for Dan Hyatt (at left) to close out the contest in the ninth inning. Hyatt picked up a pair of strikeouts before ending the game on a groundout, 4-2.
Gervolino picked up the win with a scoreless seventh inning while Hyatt earned his second save of the season. Ferrier and Kurcyh each added two hits in game one, with Kurych going 2-for-3 with two doubles.
The nightcap was dominated by pitching, as the teams only collected eight hits total. But there was only one hit that mattered.
The Wildcats had a tough time handling Ram starter Abraham Almonte, as he went the distance in the seven inning game, striking out 12 batters while only allowing one walk. But there would be one pitch he would like to have back.
With two outs and the bases empty in the bottom of he third, Kurcyh reached out and launched one to right, easily clearing the fence for a solo shot. It proved to be the only run of the game.
Game two starter Chuck Delagol struck out five in 5.1 innings of work, only allowing four hits and two walks. His day came to a close as a leadoff walk in the sixth reached second on a sacrifice bunt. Micky Foytik and Noah Latshaw escaped the sixth, leaving runners on second and third before handing the ball over to Hyatt once again.
Hyatt again went 1-2-3 in the seventh to earn his second save of the day, picking up the sweep for the Wildcats, 1-0.
Small was the only Wildcat to record multiple hits in the nightcap, going 2-for-3. The home run was Kurych's first career round tripper.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday when they host Kutztown for a single nonconference game at Wilson Field. First pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m.