ASTON, Pa. - - Getting a second crack at USciences, the No. 24 Wilmington University baseball team swept the Devils on Friday, 4-3 and 4-1, to even the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference season series, 2-2, with the games played at Maplezone Sports Institute.
Sean Deely led the Wildcats (12-7, 2-2 CACC) in the opener, throwing seven innings with 11 strikeouts while only allowing one run on four hits and two walks. Zach Frederick came on and pitched a perfect eighth inning and Justin Mears earned his third save of the game, despite running into trouble against the Devils (6-11, 2-2 CACC) again in the ninth. Deely improved to 2-2 on the year with the win.
With the Wildcats leading 4-1, Mears came on and the Devils quickly loaded the bases without recording an out. Mears picked up a strikeout for the first out but USciences closed the deficit to 4-3 with a two-run single. An error loaded the bases again but Mears induced a fly ball and a game-ending liner to short, leaving the tying run at third base.
The offense got the Wildcats on the board in the top of the third, as a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt turned into an RBI single by Max Carney. Eddie Nevins added to the lead with a two-out RBI triple before Brooks Ryan brought him in with an RBI double for the 3-0 lead.
The Devils got their first run in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly, but Deely picked up his 11th strikeout of the game to end his outing.
Nevins gave the Wildcats a much needed insurance run in the top of the ninth, bringing in Julian Kurych with a sacrifice fly. That run would prove costly for the Wildcats.
Dan Hyatt took the ball for the Wildcats and had another strong performance despite the Devils getting a run in the bottom of the first. The Devils collected a bases loaded, two-out single to take the 1-0 lead. Hyatt improved to 4-1 on the year with six innings pitched, striking out six while allowing one run on six hits and three walks.
With Julian Kurych on second in the third inning, Kendall Small tied the game with an RBI single to right. Small now has 119 career RBI, ranking third all time behind Mike Godwin's 143 from 2009-12 and Brian Testa's 122 from 2006-08.
The Wildcats then added single runs in each of the final three innings, getting a sacrifice fly from Eddie Nevins in the fifth, an RBI double from Dakota Graham in the sixth, and an RBI single from Frank Nigro in the seventh to take a 4-1 lead.
The Devils didn't roll over in the seventh once again, getting to reliever Matt Frost. Zach Frederick came on for the Wildcats with the bases loaded and one out, and quickly worked out of the jam with a strikeout and a grounder for his first save of the season.
The Wildcats are scheduled to crossover into the CACC North Division on Saturday and head to division favorites Dominican for another CACC doubleheader. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.