PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - Big innings propelled the Wilmington University baseball team to a nonconference sweep of Philadelphia, 15-8 and 11-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Playing a pair of seven-inning games, the Wildcats (20-13) scored all 15 runs in the final five innings of the opener, including a six-run sixth inning and a four-run seventh inning. The nightcap was paced by a four-run fourth inning and a seven-run fifth inning to secure the sweep over the Rams (10-21).
The Rams jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead after the first two innings in the opener before the Wildcats started their scoring spree in the top of the third. Trailing 3-1 in the fourth, Kendall Small smacked a three-run homer to take the lead for good.
Both teams scored a single run in the fifth inning before the Wildcats broke it open in the top of the sixth. Mike Annone started the scoring with an RBI single to score Jesse Long for the 6-4 lead. Julian Kurych followed suit with an RBI single before Nick Macey hit an RBI single with the bases loaded. Small walked to force in a run before Lance Gilbert was hit by a pitch to force in another run. Long reached on an error as another run came, capping the sixth inning and putting the Wildcats up 11-4.
Annone led off the top of the seventh with a double before Kurych brought him in with an RBI single. With the bases loaded, Lance Gilbert singled into left field to bring in another run before Long doubled to the gap in left center for the 15-6 lead. Despite giving up two runs in the bottom of the seventh, John Hetterman closed out the game for the victory.
Zach Rumford went five innings while striking out seven batters to earn the win, improving to 1-0 on the year. He allowed four runs on seven hits, but was backed by his offense on Wednesday. Annone and Kurych finished game one with three hits while Macey, Lance Gilbert and Long added two hits each. Small finished with four RBI.
Brad Scull was cruising through the Rams' lineup to start game two getting through three innings before the Wildcats' offense came alive.
All with two outs and the bases empty, Logan Gilbert extended the inning by reaching on an error. Small walked and Lance Gilbert made it hurt with an RBI double down the right field line. Lone extended the pain by hitting a three-run homer run to put the Wildcats up 4-0.
Scull then left two runners on in the bottom of the fourth, bringing the red-hot bats back to the plate. With the bases loaded, Dan Hyatt was hit by a pitch to force in a run before Small doubled down the right field line to plate two more. Lance Gilbert added his second double of the game, this time to the gap in left center to score two more. Rocky Ferrier capped the seven-run inning with a single through the right side, scoring both Gilbert and Long for the 11-0 lead.
Scull turned it over to the bullpen as Rudy Gervolino pitched the sixth and Zach Frederick pitched the seventh, eventually earning the sweep. Scull only gave up two hits while striking out four to improve to 2-3 on the year.
Small, Lance Gilbert, and Long led the offense in the nightcap with two hits and two runs each while Gilbert and Long collected three RBI each.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Saturday with a makeup date at Post University. The first pitch against the Eagles is slated for 12:00 p.m.