NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University baseball team got back in the win column in a big way on Saturday, sending the 2018 senior class off with a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference sweep of Caldwell, 11-2 and 8-1, on Saturday at Wilson Field.
The bats came alive for the Wildcats (27-17, 22-8 CACC), as they collected 16 hits in the opener and nine more in the nightcap. Seven of the team's 25 hits went for extra bases, including two home runs, a triple, and four doubles.
Following the doubleheader, head coach Brian August helped celebrate the careers of six seniors, as Christian Adorno, Chuck Delagol, Kyle Fries, Nick Grant, Nick Macey, and Zach Rumford played in their final regular season weekend home games at Wilson Field.
The offense got off to a loud start in the opener, as Kendall Small smacked a two-run home run off the scoreboard in right field. After the Wildcats picked up outs in their first two batters, Max Carney extended the inning with a bunt single. Small stepped in and deposited his fourth homer of the year off the scoreboard for the 2-1 lead.
Small stepped in with another RBI opportunity in the third, grounding out to the right side with the bases loaded but allowing Nick Grant to score. Kyle Fries followed with a two-out single back up the middle, scoring Christian Adorno and Max Carney to take a 5-1 lead.
The bats continued in the fifth, as Max Carney tripled in Zach Rumford before Kendall Small added to his RBI count with another single to bring in Carney. Kyle Fries hit a fly ball to center, easily plating Small on the sacrifice fly for the 8-1 advantage.
Carney and Small continued their 1-2 punch in the sixth, as Carney doubled in Adorno and Small kept the inning alive with an infield single and error that scored Carney, 10-2.
Zach Rumford stole the show on Senior Day in the bottom of the eighth inning, however, hitting his first collegiate career home run to give the Wildcats an 11-2 lead.
After a shaky first inning, freshman Ryan Bradigan settled in and went five innings, allowing one run on five hits with three strikeout to improve to 2-1 on the year. Matt Danz tossed three innings with three strikeouts before Bryce Carney secured the win with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.
Max Carney was a homer away from the cycle, going 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, and four runs scored. Kendall Small went 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Rumford, Adorno, and Frank Nigro all collected two hits each in the opener.
Max Carney continued to reach base in the nightcap, leading all hitting by going 4-for-5 with four RBI and a run scored. Dating back to his final at-bat in game two at Felician, he had a streak of nine straight plate appearances that he reached base, coming to a close in the bottom of the sixth with a fielders' choice to end the inning. He would later single to reach base in 10 of his previous 11 at-bats.
The Wildcats were again down after the top of the first, but found an answer in the home half and never looked back. Max Carney's single scored Adorno and got away from the left fielder, put Carney on third with only one out. Kyle Fries hit an RBI ground out to give the Wildcats the lead, 2-1.
A three-run fourth inning put the game away for the Wildcats. With two outs and the bases loaded, Christian Adorno was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Max Carney followed suit with a two-run single through the left side, adding to his afternoon.
The Cougars again got the first two batters out in the eighth, but Rumford kept the inning alive with an infield single. Adorno chased Rumford all the way home with a double over the head of the center fielder for another RBI. Max Carney capped the afternoon with an RBI single, giving the Wildcats an 8-1 lead.
Senior Nick Grant went six innings in the nightcap, striking out four while allowing one run on six hits to improve to 4-1 on the year. Zach Frederick pitched a perfect seventh before Matt Frost tossed a perfect eighth. Tyler Campbell closed out the sweep with a perfect ninth inning with two punchouts.
Rumford batted 2-for-5 with two runs in the nightcap while Adorno, Small, and Nigro rounded out the Wildcat hits.
The Wildcats close out their CACC regular season with a makeup doubleheader against Dominican on Monday at Wilson Field. The first pitch against the Chargers is set for 10:45 a.m.