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Press Release Written by Sports Information Graduate Intern MaryKate Rumbaugh
GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – With back-to-back wins over No. 1 Adelphi, 14-5, and No. 8 Franklin Pierce, 12-10, on Friday afternoon at Bonomo Field, No. 4 Wilmington University baseball stays alive to advance to the NCAA Division II East I Final against No. 5 NYIT tomorrow afternoon.
Game One vs. No. 1 Adelphi:
Seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning gave the Wildcats a 10-5 lead over No. 1 Adelphi, which helped secure a 14-5 win over the host team.
Quintin Ivy (at left) would tie the ballgame up for the Wildcats in the bottom of the third, with a solo shot out to center field to make it a 2-2 game. WilmU would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a throwing error from the center fielder to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
In the top of the fifth the Panthers would answer and get three more back to take a 5-3 lead over the Wildcats, but starter Sean Deely would get out of the inning, leaving the bases loaded.
Wilmington's big inning started thanks to a leadoff single from Quintin Ivy to bring up Kendall Small. Small hit a deep home run out to right field to tie things at 5-5. Eddie Nevins and Brooks Ryan would both get on to bring up Max Carney, who reached on a throwing error from the pitcher, which scored both Ryan and Nevins. A hit by pitch would then put Dan Hyatt on and advance Carney to second, and force the Panthers into their second pitching change of the inning.
Brett Nowell would then get into the action for WilmU, reaching on a fielder's choice to load the bases and still no outs. Frank Nigro and Dakota Graham would go back-to-back bringing in a run with a hit by pitch and walk to make it a 9-5 game. Kendall Small would get the final run of the inning in on a sacrifice fly out to left to give WilmU the 10-5 lead heading into the top of the sixth.
Small would bring in another RBI in the bottom of the seventh with a single to left, before Eddie Nevins hit a sacrifice fly to add more runs for the Wildcats. Dakota Graham and Small would give the Wildcats their final two runs of the contest in the bottom of the eighth to help extend the Wildcats lead to 14-5.
Kendall Small went 3-for-5 with five RBI, including a home run. Quintin Ivy went 2-for-4 with one RBI, as Dakota Graham went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Brett Nowell was 2-for-3, while Eddie Nevins and Frank Nigro both had one RBI. Sean Deely got the start and the win for WilmU, going 5.0 IP, allowing 11 hits, and five earned runs, while striking out seven batters. Danny Sullivan would relieve Deely and go 3.0 IP, allowing just two hits. Justin Mears finished the ninth with two strikeouts.
Adelphi had five errors in the contest, while both teams had 13 hits.
Game Two vs. No. 8 Franklin Pierce:
In an exhilarating nine innings, the Wildcats held off No. 8 Franklin Pierce in their second game of the day, to stay alive and advance to the Finals.
Wilmington got the bats going early, as they plated their first run of the game in the top of the first thanks to an RBI single from Eddie Nevins. In the top of the second, Brett Nowell would get the Wildcats started with a bunt single to third base, before advancing to second on a throwing error from the third baseman, then advancing to third on some smart base running after catching the first baseman off guard. Freshman Derek Donastorg would bring home Nowell with an RBI single to right after.
Dakota Graham and Quintin Ivy would both reach base safely, bringing up Kendall Small with the bases loaded, who hit a sacrifice fly out to left, scoring Donastorg to give WilmU a 3-0 lead. Now in scoring position, Eddie Nevins knocked both runners in with a single through the left side to extend the Wildcats' lead to 5-0 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
With a 6-0 deficit in the bottom of the fourth, the Ravens were able to get things going as they scored four runs on three hits in the inning to bring the lead to within two. Franklin Pierce would then cut it to within one in the bottom of the sixth, making it 6-5.
Looking to add to their one run lead, Brooks Ryan (at left) hit a solo shot out to left center in the top of the seventh to give the Wildcats a little comfort, before Luke Johnson followed him with his own out to right center to make it 8-5 in favor of WilmU. Franklin Pierce would answer right back though, in the bottom half of the inning on a long two-run homerun to bring the Wildcats lead back to within one, 8-7.
Kendall Small would get out of a huge jam in the bottom of the seventh for the Wildcats. With no outs and the bases loaded, Small was able to get the Ravens on a double play, with a foul fly ball and a throw from Quintin Ivy to get the runner out at the plate, before Small struck out the final batter, stranding all runners.
Needing insurance runs, the Wildcats were able to get four runs back in the top of the eighth. Small had an RBI single before Nevins knocked in two more with another single through the left side. Max Carney made it a 12-7 lead with an RBI single of his own.
But the Ravens answered once again in the home half of the inning, scoring three runs (two unearned) to head into the final frame down just two, 12-10.
Small allowed a one-out single, but got a fly ball for the second out before Frank Nigro threw out the runner trying to get to second on a ball in the dirt for the final out of the game.
Dan Hyatt got the win, going 6.0 IP, allowing eight hits, and three earned runs, while striking out six batters. Small went 3.0 IP, allowing five hits, and one earned run, while getting three strikeouts for the save.
Eddie Nevins and Quintin Ivy both went 3-for-5, as Nevins finished with five RBI and Ivy finished with one. Dakota Graham went 2-for-4, while Kendall Small had two hits and two RBI. Brooks Ryan, Luke Johnson, Max Carney, and Derek Donastorg all had one RBI.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to the NCAA DII East 1 Region Final against No. 5 NYIT tomorrow. First pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m.