NYACK, N.Y. - - The bats were slow coming but the pitching led the Wilmington University baseball team to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference split at Nyack, falling in the opener, 2-1, before winning the nightcap, 4-3, at Nyack High School on Saturday afternoon.
All the runs in the opener were scored in the fourth inning, as the Wildcats (6-10, 3-1 CACC) scored first before the Warriors (9-8-1, 2-2 CACC) answered with two runs of their own. The Wildcats came back from a 2-0 deficit with a four-run second inning in the nightcap, before the pitching shut the door for the CACC split.
The Wildcats jumped in front in the top of the fourth inning of the opener. Brooks Ryan started the inning with a leadoff single before an error put runners on first and second with no outs. Kyle Fries laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Dakota Graham followed with a one-out RBI single, with Nick Grant being thrown out at the plate trying to score the second run.
But the Warriors answered in the bottom of the fourth inning with two runs. Back-to-back singles started the inning before Wilmington starter Zach Rumford picked up a strikeout for the first out. But the Warriors picked up an RBI single to tie the game and followed with a two-out, RBI infield single to third base to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats went down in order in the fifth and sixth innings, and left a runner on first in the seventh. No Wildcats were left on base in the eighth before Nyack closed out the victory in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.
Rumford went seven strong innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out nine batters in the tough luck loss. He fell to 1-1 on the season. Freshman Ryan Bradigan pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the Wildcats.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats quickly found themselves down 2-0 after the first inning.
The Warriors started the first with a leadoff walk and a single to put runners on first and second with no outs. Starter Brad Scull induced a line out and picked up a strikeout for two outs, but a two-out error allowed both runners to come around and score for the 2-0 lead.
But back-to-back errors by the Warriors in the top of the second allowed the Wildcats to load the bases with no outs. Dakota Graham brought in the first run by working a walk before Brett Nowell tied the game with an RBI single to right center. Max Carney hit into a double-play that scored the third run before Christian Adorno hit a two-out single back up the middle for the final run and 4-2 lead.
That was more than enough for Scull, as he set the Warriors down in order in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth inning to keep the Wildcats in front. The first two Warriors reached in the seventh before an RBI ground out cut the Wildcats lead to 4-3. Matt Frost came on to relieve Scull and induced a line out and a strikeout to get out the inning and keep the Wildcats in front.
Adorno batted 2-for-4 in the opener before going 3-for-4 with an RBI in the nightcap, finishing as the only Wildcat with multiple hits in each game.
Scull went 6.1 innings, striking out six while allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits to improve to 4-1 on the year. Mears struck out two for his second save.
The Wildcats have a quick turnaround, playing another CACC doubleheader on Sunday in a rescheduled day against Goldey-Beacom. The Wildcats and Lightning will play a nine and seven-inning game at Wilson Field starting at 12:00 p.m.