MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - The Wilmington University baseball team bounced back in its second game on Friday, splitting the first two games of the 2018 season with a 12-0 loss to New Haven and an 8-3 victory over LIU Post to start The Northeast Challenge at the Ripken Experience.
New Haven (1-0) jumped out quickly against the Wildcats (1-1), finishing the game with 15 hits while the Wildcats could only muster four base knocks. But the offense came alive in the nightcap, as the Wildcats collected 11 hits en route to eight runs and the victory against the Pioneers (3-3).
The Chargers scored three times in the top of the first inning, marked by a two-out, three-run home run over the short porch in right field. Two more runs in the third inning pushed the lead to 5-0 before the Chargers added a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Another two runs in the eight came before a two-run home run in the ninth capped the scoring for the visitors, as they earned the 12-0 victory.
Charger starter David Palmer went seven strong innings, allowing only two hits to go with three strikeouts and two walks. Wilmington starter Sean Deely allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits in five innings of work. Four different Wildcats came away with one hit each, led by Christian Adorno's first inning double.
Coming off a year's hiatus due to injury, Adorno again led the Wildcats offensively in the nightcap, going 3-for-5 with a triple, a homer, two RBI, and four runs scored against the Pioneers.
This time the Wildcat bats got off to a strong start, as Dakota Graham led off the game with a single inside the third base bag. Adorno chased him all the way around the bags with a triple into the gap in left center. Kendal Small followed with a sacrifice fly for the quick 2-0 lead. But the Pioneers answered with another first inning home run to right field, tying the game at 2-2.
Game two starter Brad Scull held the Pioneers down for the next six innings, striking out nine batters while only allowing seven hits and the two first inning runs. He was able to earn the win because of Adorno in the top of the sixth. The senior led off the top of the frame with a line out to left, hitting off the scoreboard for a solo home run and a 3-2 lead. Scull was then able to get out of a second and third, one-out jam in the bottom half, picking up a strikeout before a line drive to short to end the threat.
The Wildcats broke it open in the eighth, as Max Carney started the scoring with a bases loaded single to score Graham. Two batters later, Brooks Ryan beat out an attempted ground ball double play to short, scoring Adorno from third while a throwing error brought in Small from second for the 6-2 lead.
Graham brought in Kyle Fries with a sacrifice fly in the ninth before Small doubled to the gap in right center to score Adorno from first for two more insurance runs, 8-2.
Small went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Nick Macey also went 2-for-4 in the nightcap.
The Northeast Challenge continues on Saturday for the Wildcats, as they square off against Le Moyne in a single contest at the Ripken Experience. First pitch is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.