NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Late scores by the USciences Devils ruined the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference opening doubleheader for the Wilmington University baseball team, as the Wildcats fell, 4-3 and 7-5, on Wednesday afternoon at Wilson Field.
A run in the top of the eighth proved to be the difference for the Devils (4-12, 2-0 CACC) in the opener before the visitors came back with five runs in the top of the seventh to steal a 7-5 victory in the nightcap form the Wildcats (10-7, 0-2 CACC).
Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first, the Wildcats took a 2-1 lead with runs in the bottom of the first and second innings. Dakota Graham led off the inning with a double and Kendall Small grounded out to tie the game, 1-1. With two outs and a man on second, Julian Kurych doubled to the gap in left center to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats left two runners on in the fourth and left two more on in the bottom of the fifth, opening the door for the Devils.
In the top of the sixth, a leadoff walk and a double quickly tied the game before a two-out, bases loaded walk gave the visitors the lead.
The Wildcats threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, but a strikeout left runners on second and third as the inning ended. The Wildcats put two runners with only one out in the seventh, but an inning ending double play erased the threat by the Wildcats.
The Devils were able to cash in on another cash in the top of the eighth, as they put their firs two runners on. It looked as the Wildcats would get out of the inning with a double play, but the Devils picked up a two-out RBI single for the 4-2 lead.
The Wildcats threatened again in the home half of the eighth, getting runners on second and third with only one out. Dakota Graham grounded out to score Luke Johnson, but that's all the Wildcats would get as the Devils ended the inning with another ground out.
Wilmington put the tying run on base in the ninth, but another double play ended the game, 4-3.
It looked as though the Wildcats got over their game one loss quickly in the bottom of the first in game two. Wilmington started with three runs in the frame, taking control of the contest.
After Dakota Graham walked to start the inning, Quintin Ivy chased him around with an RBI double. Eddie Nevins followed with an RBI double of his own, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Brock Nowell hit a sacrifice fly to center, bringing in Nevins for the early 3-0 lead.
The Devils cut into the deficit in the top of the third, starting with a leadoff walk, a triple, and a sacrifice fly in the first three batters to get to within 3-2.
Justin Mears shut the Devils down in the top of the sixth, but ran into trouble in the top of the seventh.
A triple started the inning before an RBI single set the inning in motion. With runners on first and third, another single brought the Devils to within 5-4. A grounder back to the pitcher looked like a double play, but the throw was dropped at second, allowing the tying run to cross the plate.
Now with two outs, the Devils came up with a bloop single to right, scoring two more runs to take a 7-5 lead.
Derek Donastorg doubled to start the bottom of the seventh and Brock Nowell walked to start a rally. Pinch hitter Kendall Small singled, but got caught on the base paths for the first out. A strikeout left the Wildcats with their final out, but pinch hitter Luke Johnson flew out to right to end the game.
The Wildcats will take another crack at the Devils in their next contest, as the new CACC schedule has South Division opponents play four times in the same week. The Wildcats head to Philadelphia to take on USciences in a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.