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GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - - Down to its final chance in regulation, the fourth seeded Wilmington University baseball team scored four in the bottom of the ninth to force extras, but fifth seeded NYIT had the last laugh, 10-7, in the opening round of the NCAA Division II East 1 Regional Tournament hosted by Adelphi on Thursday.
With the loss, the Wildcats will square off against top seed and host Adelphi on Friday in the loser's bracket. Adelphi dropped a 4-3 decision to Franklin Pierce in the first game of the day. Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
The Wildcats (38-17) threw the first punch at the Bears (33-14), scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. But the Bears answered with two runs each in the second, third, and fourth innings, taking control of the game with a 6-3 lead.
The Bears capitalized on two costly Wildcat errors, as only five of the team's 10 runs were earned in the game. A throwing error started the second inning as the Bears eventually scored two runs with two outs, and then all three runs in the 10th inning were unearned due to a two-out error on a ground ball to short.
But the Wildcats still brought the game-winning run to the plate in the 10th, and had one final loud out to end the ball game. Max Carney started the 10th with a bunt single and then the Bears recorded outs with the next two batters. Brock Nowell singled back up the middle and Dakota Graham walked to load the bases and keep the Wildcats alive. Quintin Ivy stepped in as a pinch hitter and drilled the first pitch he saw to left, but it stayed in the park and was caught on the warning track to end the game.
The Bears started the ninth inning with a double down the right field line and added what proved to be a much needed insurance run with a single to lead, 7-3.
Brett Nowell started the ninth with a one-out single before Frank Nigro singled through the right side to put two runners on. Graham then loaded the bases with an error at first, bringing the tying run to the plate. Brooks Ryan chopped one back up the middle and through for the first two runs and then Kendall Small hit the gap in left center to tie the game, 7-7. The Bears intentionally walked Eddie Nevins and it worked out for them as Luke Johnson hit into a double play to send the game into extra innings.
Zach Frederick had two outs and a runner on first before a field error kept the inning going and put runners on first and third. A single and a two-run double followed, giving the Bears a 10-7 lead.
The Wildcats threw the first punch in the bottom of the first, as Max Carney came through with a two-out, two run single to right. Now with runner son first and third, the Wildcats executed a double steal, getting Luke Johnson to score for the early 3-0 lead.
A two-run double to right put NYIT on the board in the second before back-to-back solo shots in the third gave the Bears the 4-3 lead. A two-out RBI double and RBI triple put the Bears up, 6-3, in the fourth.
Brad Scull started and went five innings, striking out four while allowing six runs (four earned) on eight hits. Kyle Maxwell gave up a run in four innings, striking out three before Zach Frederick pitched the 10th with a strikeout.