PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - The formula seems to be set for the Wilmington University baseball team; great starting pitching and timely hitting.
That proved to be on display once again on Wednesday, as the Wildcats (10-10, 7-1 CACC) swept a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference on the road at Jefferson, 6-3 and 5-2, at Alumni Field. Today's first game was the First Round of the Bill Giles Invitational and with the win the Wildcats will play in the championship game at Citizens Bank Park in April.
Zach Rumford allowed five hits in seven innings of work, only allowing a sixth inning run on a two-out single, while striking out eight more batters. He set the Rams (4-15, 1-4 CACC) down in order in his last inning of work, throwing 101 pitches after throwing seven innings on Saturday. He will now have a week off from any action.
The Wildcats got the scoring started in the top of the second inning, as Max Carney took a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right for a solo homer, his second of the season, for the 1-0 lead. Christian Adorno added to the lead in the top of the fourth inning, after Justin Mears opened the inning with a single to left. Adorno knocked Mears in from second for the 2-0 lead after four. Frank Nigro tacked on another run in the top of the fifth, as he laced a run scoring double to right center after Kyle Fries hit a one-out triple to start the rally.
The Rams scored their run in the bottom of the sixth but the Wildcats answered in the top of the eighth. Adorno started the frame with a double into the corner in left and eventually came home on a wild pitch. Kyle Fries hit a two-out single to left, chasing Matt Frost home from third for the 5-1 lead.
Jefferson again cut into the lead with two runs in the bottom of the eighth, but Adorno answered the call again in the top of the ninth with a double off the wall in left center, scoring Dakota Graham from third for the added insurance run.
Justin Mears came in and slammed the door, getting two ground outs before finishing the game with a strikeout for his fourth save of the year. Rumford improved to 2-1 on the year.
Brad Scull took the ball in the nightcap and although didn't finish with the strikeout totals he has been accustomed to this year, still worked five strong innings for the win. He struck out four while allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits to improve to 5-1.
A two-out error with the bases loaded allowed the Wildcats to score two runs in the top of the first and take a strangle hold on the nightcap.
The score remained 2-0 until the top of the fifth inning, as the Wildcats struck again with two outs. With runners on second and third, Nick Macey beat the center fielder with a double to plate two more. Kendall Small followed with another two-out RBI single, giving the Wildcats a 5-0 lead.
The Rams answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth, but the bullpen would shut down the Rams the rest of the way. Matt Danz pitched a scoreless sixth inning before Matt Frost came in got a game-ending double play for his first collegiate save.
Adorno went 4-for-5 with three doubles, two RBI, and a run scored in the opener, adding a 1-for-3 performance in the nightcap. Frank Nigro went 3-for-4 with a double in the opener while Kyle Fries went 2-for-4 with a triple in game one. Dakota Graham led the Wildcats in game two, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Brett Nowell batted 2-for-3 in the nightcap as well.
The Wildcats have a week off until they return to CACC play, when they host Felician in another South Division twinbill at Wilson Field. The first pitch is set for 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3.