MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - - Trailing by five runs, the #19 Wilmington University baseball team scored eight runs in two innings, defeating NAIA opponent Florida National University, 10-7, on Friday afternoon on the campus of St. Thomas University.
The Conquistadors (4-16) jumped out to a 6-1 lead after the top of the fifth, but the Wildcats (7-4) fought back with a three run fifth inning and took the lead with a fifth run sixth inning to come back and win, 10-7.
Trailing 6-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, a single and a two-base error kick started the Wildcats. Julian Kurych walked and came around to score as Kendall Small singled, and raced around to third on an error by the right fielder. Luke Johnson followed with an RBI single up the middle, and two batters later Dan Hyatt brought the Wildcats to within 6-4 with an RBI single through the right side.
Matt Frost shut the Conquistadors down in order in the top of the sixth and the bats got back to work in the home half.
With one out, the Wildcats used a hit by pitch and back-to-back singles to load the bases with one out. Brad Scull came off the bench and singled up the middle for the first run of the inning. The Wildcats then used four straight walks to score four more runs, settling on a 9-6 lead after six full innings.
Florida National scored a run in the top of the seventh, but Mike Cottrell came on and left the bases loaded to keep the Wildcats in front, 9-7. Luke Johnson was able to get that run back for the Wildcats in the bottom of the seventh, getting hit by a pitch to force in a run for the 10-7 lead.
Zach Frederick pitched the eighth for the Wildcats, getting out of a first and third jam with only one out. Frank Nigro threw a runner out at second attempting to steal before Frederick induced a grounder to end the frame.
Justin Mears appeared for the Wildcats in the ninth, striking out the side for his second save of the season.
Max Carney batted 4-for-5 with two runs scored while Dan Hyatt went 2-for-4 with a double and a team high three RBI. Kendall Small and Mitchell Leslie also had two hits for the Wildcats, with Leslie hitting a double and Small scoring two runs.
The Wildcats wrap up their Florida trip with another contest against Queens on Saturday. The Wildcats and Knights will scare off against starting at 10:00 a.m. on the campus of Barry University.