NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University baseball team gave up late runs in both ends of its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader against Felician, falling 3-2 and 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Wilson Field.
With the sweep, Felician moves into an early tie for first place in the South Division with the Wildcats, both sitting at a 7-3 CACC record. The Wildcats dropped to 10-12 with the two losses while the Golden Falcons improve to 9-17 overall.
The bats were slow to come on a cold and windy day at Wilson Field, as neither team scored until the bottom of the fifth in the opener.
Nick Grant took the first pitch he saw leading off the bottom of the fifth to right field, clearing the fence for his first home run as a Wildcat, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Felician answered with a two-out, two run single in the bottom of the seventh that hit the line, plating two. The Golden Falcons added to their lead with a double down the right field line, hitting the chalk again to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.
The Wildcats threatened in the bottom half of the inning, putting the first two runners on second and third with a Kyle Fries single and a Kendall Small double. But the Wildcats were only able to score one in the inning as they left runners on second and third as the inning ended.
Max Carney hit a one-out double in the bottom of the ninth, but reliever Dan Naif induced two ground balls to end the game, 3-2.
Wildcat starter Sean Deely went seven innings in falling to 1-2 on the year. He allowed two runs on four hits, striking out five while giving up three walks. Felician starter Rob Naughton went 8.1 innings, striking out four while allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits.
In the nightcap, a balk brought in a run in the top of the first for the Golden Falcons, but the Wildcats answered in bottom of the second.
A perfectly executed hit-and-run by Nick Macey put runners on first and third with one out. Sean Deely laced a single into left center to tie the game, 1-1, but Felician induced back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam.
The Golden Falcons regained the lead in the top of the third, getting a two-out RBI single to take a 2-1 lead.
Max Carney started the sixth with a leadoff single, but he was left standing at second base as Naif once again came in and got a ground ball to end the inning.
An error on a sacrifice bunt gave the Golden Falcons life in the top of the seventh, as they were able to score two runs on the errant throw. A hit by pitch with the bases loaded gave the Golden Falcons another insurance run, giving the visitors a 6-1 advantage.
Sean Deely walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and error with two out allowed the Wildcats to score a run, but Naif earned his second save of the day with the final out.
The Wildcats take to the road for their next CACC South Division doubleheader, as they head to Chestnut Hill on Friday. The first pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.