MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - The 2019 season started with a bang for the Wilmington University baseball team, defeating Molloy, 19-3, and New Haven, 7-5, on Friday at the Polo Grounds on the campus of the Ripken Experience.
Game One vs. Molloy:
The Wildcats were clicking on all cylinders in the 2019 season opener, getting a strong outing from senior Brad Scull and putting 19 runs on the board. The 19 runs scored are the most against a nonconference team not named Lincoln University in the program's NCAA era. It bested last year's 18 runs against Stonehill here in Myrtle Beach.
Scull tossed the first six innings, striking out 10 batters while only allowing four hits and two walks. Scull had to work out of a two-on, no out situation in the second, and a two-on, one out situation in the third inning before settling in. he answered with a perfect fourth and fifth innings before working around a one-out walk in his sixth and final frame.
The runs started in the second inning as Brooks Ryan and Frank Nigro collected RBIs to put the Wildcats up 2-0. Kendall Small doubled in Dakota Graham in the third before a wild pitch made it 4-0 in favor of the Wildcats. Graham singled in Danny Hyatt to start eh fourth before a run came in on a double play. Eddie Nevins hit the first home run of the season for the Wildcats to cap the fourth, putting the Wildcats ahead, 8-0. Luke Johnson launched a homer to right center to put the Cats up 9-0 after five innings
The Lions got on the board in the eighth, but the Wildcats answered right back with a 10-run eighth inning to put the game away. Brett Nowell, Brock Nowell, Johnson (2), Nigro (2), and Kurych (3) all had RBIs in the inning. Kurych hit a bases clearing triple and then scored on a passed ball to make it 19-2.
Game Two vs. New Haven:
The bats remained hot to start the second game of the day for the Wildcats.
Kendall Small started the scoring in the top of the first with a sacrifice fly, following two singles by Kurych and Max Carney. Eddie Nevins made it a 3-0 game with his second homer of the day, blasting another ball to left.
Nevins was at it again, bringing in another run in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Carney for the 4-0 lead.
The Chargers wouldn't let the Wildcats get too far away, scoring a run in the fourth to get on the board.
Brooks Ryan beat out an infield single and Kendall Small raced home on a mishap by the shortstop in the top of the fifth to regain a 5-1 lead. But again the Chargers answered, hitting a two-run homer over the short wall in right in the sixth.
Luke Johnson came up large for the Wildcats in the seventh, hitting a two-out, two-run double to open the lead back out to 7-3.
Zach Frederick came on in a sticky situation, having the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth. After the Chargers scored on a fielder's choice and an error, Frederick induced a shallow fly ball and picked up a 3-6-1 double play to end the inning and keep it at 7-5.
Justin Mears came on and closed out the contest with a perfect ninth inning, picking up his first save of the year.
Sean Deely pitched the first five innings against New Haven, striking out seven while allowing three runs on three hits and four walks.
The Wildcats return to The Ripken Experience on Saturday with one game, playing the late game against St. Thomas Aquinas at 5:30 p.m.