Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
NEW CASTLE, Del. – In their home opener at Wilson Field, the Wilmington University baseball team split games with East Coast Conference contender, Bridgeport, winning the first contest, 6-0, but falling to the Purple Knights, 3-2, in the second game of the day on Saturday afternoon.
The Wildcats (9-5) took advantage of Bridgeport's nine errors throughout the game to secure their second shutout of the year with the help from starting pitcher Brad Scull, who went 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, no walks, and striking out 11.
Scull and the Wildcats had a one-two-three outing throughout the first four innings, before Scull gave up his first hit of the day in the top of the fifth inning. Redshirt junior Eddie Nevins was due up first for the Wildcats in the bottom half of the inning and hit a double into left center, before Brooks Ryan reached on a fielding error by the second baseman to allow Nevins to score. Ryan would advance to third on a wild pitch to then give Luke Johnson an opportunity. Johnson would hit a sacrifice fly out to center field to score Ryan and give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead heading into the sixth inning.
WilmU would start the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded and one out for Kendall Small who singled through the right side, scoring Max Carney and Julian Kurych to make it a 4-0 game. Bridgeport was forced into a pitching change, but the Wildcats would load the bases again, now with two outs for Johnson, who reached on fielding error by the shortstop to score Max Carney, to take a 5-0 lead heading into the top of the eighth.
Scull would only allow one more hit in the eighth inning, before the Wildcats got another run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a bases loaded fielder's choice by Kendall Small to score Dan Hyatt and give WilmU the 6-0 lead. Redshirt senior Zach Frederick would come in to close it out for the Wildcats in the top of the ninth inning, going 1-2-3 to complete the shutout.
Julian Kurych, Frank Nigro, and Dakota Graham all had a hit for the Wildcats, as Kendall Small had one hit and two RBI along with Luke Johnson who added one hit and one RBI. Scull improved to 4-0 on the year.
The bats were hard to find in the second game, as the Wildcats did not get their lone hit of the game until the bottom of the seventh inning, whereas the Purple Knights (2-12) had 10 throughout the contest.
The Wildcats would take the early lead in the bottom of the first inning off of pass ball and a steal home from Small and Nevins, but both runs would be the only ones scored for the Wildcats throughout the game.
Bridgeport's bats came alive in the top of the third inning as their leadoff hitter doubled to right field, before scoring on a fielder's choice to the second baseman. The Purple Knights would then tie it up on another double to left field, before Sean Deely got out of the inning with two straight outs. Bridgeport would then take their first lead of the day on a homerun out to right center to give them the go ahead run in the top of the fifth inning. The Wildcats would threaten in the bottom half of the inning, but would leave runners in scoring position.
Catcher Frank Nigro would give the Wildcats life in the final inning with the first hit of the day through the left side, before Quintin Ivy was walked to put two on for the Wildcats. With two outs though, WilmU would go down swinging to end the game, 3-2.
Wilmington is right back at it tomorrow, as they host Bridgeport for one game starting at 12:00 p.m. at Wilson Field.