MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - - A three homer fourth inning powered the Wilmington University baseball team past No. 19 St. Thomas Aquinas, 14-3, on Saturday night at the Ripken Experience's Crosley Field.
The Wildcats (3-0) continued its solid start to eh 2019 season with great pitching and powerful hitting, scoring in five straight innings en route to the big win. St. Thomas Aquinas is ranked No. 19 in the latest NCBWA National Poll.
As the previous two games, the stage was set with powerful pitching from the Wildcats' starter Dan Hyatt. Hyatt would end up striking out the side in the bottom of the first, and end with 12 strikeouts in six innings of work.
The scoring started in the top of the second for the Wildcats, as Julian Kurych nearly had a grand slam, but settled for a sacrifice fly to the wall for the 1-0 lead. A wild pitch brought in Darren Donastorg for the early 2-0 lead.
Luke Johnson continued his hot start in the third inning, knocking in Kendall Small with a single through the right side. St. Thomas Aquinas got to Hyatt in the third inning, as a one-out walk came around to score on an RBI double off the wall in center.
But that is when the fun started for the Wildcats.
Dakota Graham took the first pitch he saw in the top of the fourth inning and deposited it over the wall in right for the solo blast, 4-1. Kurych walked and moved to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch, but would have come home from anywhere as Kendall Small launched a two-run shot to center to put the Wildcats up 6-1. Two batters later, Brooks Ryan set a ball into the night in left center, capping a three-homer inning and giving the Wildcats a 7-1 lead.
With the bases loaded in the fifth, Eddie Nevins doubled to the gap in right center, scoring two more to make it double-digits for the second time in three games, 10-1.
Hyatt allowed one run on three hits, striking out 12 while only giving up two walks. Rich Albrecht made his collegiate debut in the seventh before Mike Cottrell and Ryan Bradigan finished out the game with clean innings. Bradigan struck out two in the ninth.
Brooks Ryan finished 3-for-5 with a home run while Dakota Graham went 3-for-3 with a homer and two runs scored. Eddie Nevins went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Luke Johnson was the final Wildcat with multiple hits, going 2-for-6 with three RBI.
The Wildcats wrap up their Myrtle Beach trip with a contest against Southern Connecticut State on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.