NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University baseball team capped its regular season with a split of nationally ranked No. 16 Felician, winning the opener, 7-2, and nearly completed the comeback in the nightcap before falling, 6-5, on Wednesday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The Wildcats (28-19) scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and had the tying and winning run in scoring position in the nightcap, but Felician (33-12) buckled down to get the final out and pick up the split.
Trailing 1-0 after the top of the third inning, Dan Hyatt hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game. The Wildcats didn't pick up their first hit until the bottom of the fifth, starting the inning with a Jesse Long single. Rocky Ferrier followed with a double just inside the third base bag. Kendall Small gave the Wildcats the lead for good with an RBI groundout.
Small brought in Long again in the bottom of the seventh before the Wildcats tacked on four insurance runs on in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and a drawn in infield, Frank Nigro singled though the right side for the 4-1 lead. Ferrier added an RBI single to center before Max Carney and Nigro scored on back-to-back wild pitches for the 7-1 lead.
Seven different pitchers allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits while stranding 17 runners on base throughout the game. Chuck Delagol and John Hetterman struck out a pair in two innings each while Noah Latshaw struck out two in the seventh inning. Bryce Carney earned his first collegiate win with a scoreless fifth inning.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first of the nightcap, as Hyatt hit a one-out triple to get things started. Small chopped one to shortstop with two out, but the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag to allow Hyatt to score for the 1-0 lead.
Felician took the lead in with two runs in the top of the third and extended their advantage with three runs in the top of the fifth. Kyle Fries starter the bottom of the firth with a triple down the left field line and Ferrier singled him home to cut the deficit to 5-2.
Now trailing 6-2 and down to their final at-bat, the Wildcats strung together a last ditch effort. The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out without recording a hit. Regan Hidalgo started the scoring with a chopper through the right side. Now with two outs, pinch runner Brad Scull beat out a play at second base to score a run and an error brought in another run to cut the deficit to 6-5.
A wild pitch moved the tying run to third and the winning run to second, but Julian Kurcyh grounded on back to the pitcher for the final out of the game.
The regular season came to a close on Wednesday, but the postseason begins Saturday as they earned the second seed in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament. The Wildcats will host seventh seed Nyack on Saturday in the CACC Tournament Play-In game at Wilson Field. First pitch is slated for 2:00 p.m.