Senior Frank Samluk recorded 15 strikeouts to lead the Wilmington University baseball team past Mercy, 5-4, in the first game of a doubleheader but the Wildcats dropped game two, 8-5, on Thursday afternoon at Mercy Field.
Samluk's 15 strikeouts came in seven innings of work, as he only allowed one hit and one walk before turning the ball over to the bullpen leading 5-0. Peter Monahan collected a pair of strikeouts before Tyler Fries added two more, setting the record for the Wildcats (5-6) with 19 total strikeouts in a single game.
The Wildcats got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning, getting a base hit bunt by Sam Goines to score Jon Castro with one out.
After Samluk shut down the Mavericks (3-7) in the top of the seventh, the Wildcats added four runs in the bottom of the seventh, which proved to be necessary.
With the bases loaded and one out, a pitch hit Mike Annone to force in the inning's first run before Christian Adorno scored on a wild pitch. Sean Feeney walked to reload the bases with one out before Goines added his second RBI of the game with a single into left field. Matt Lopes knocked in the final run of the inning on a fielder's choice as Annone came home when the play went to third base.
Monahan came on in the eighth inning and worked around a leadoff hit by pitch, striking out a pair of batters, including the final out of the inning. The Wildcats left the bases loaded in the eighth without scoring a run before Mercy made things interesting in the ninth.
The Mavericks put the first three batters on base, getting an RBI single from Bryan Greig. After Chris Lopez induced a fly ball for the first out, James Patterson raced around the bases for an inside the park homerun, bringing the score to 5-4.
Tyler Fries came on to pitch looking for the save and quickly picked up a strikeout for the second out of the inning, setting the record for a single game. After an infield single, Fries earned his fourth save of the season with another strikeout to end the game.
The Mavericks put a pair of four run innings on the board to seize momentum in the nightcap, scoring four in the third and four more in the fifth inning. The Wildcats attempted to make a big comeback in the bottom of the seventh but could only muster three runs to cut the deficit to 8-5 in the seven-inning game.
The scoring started in the bottom of the second as the Wildcats had runners on second and third with one out. Nick Macey grounded one back to the pitcher, but a tough enough ball to allow Goines to score from third for the 1-0 lead.
Mercy led off the third with a triple but the Wildcats were able to catch the Mavericks attempting to steal home, leaving the bases empty with two outs. But four straight hits, including a two-run homer to left put the Mavericks ahead, 4-1.
Six more hits in the fifth inning brought four more runs home for the Mavericks while they also left three runners on base.
Still trailing 8-2 with their last chance, the Wildcats put together five hits in the seventh, scoring three runs. Jon Castro scored on a wild pitch after singling through the left side and Samluk brought home the inning's second run with a single into center. Feeney made the game 8-5 with a single to score Samluk, but that would be all the Wildcats would get as Goines flied out to end the game.
Rob Gore was saddled with the loss in game two, tossing 4.2 innings while allowing eight runs on 10 hits. Jake Wersinger pitched 1.1 scoreless innings before Matt Frost tossed a scoreless seventh with a pair of strikeouts.
Feeney went 3-for-4 in game two while Goines went 2-for-4 in the nightcap, adding to his 2-for-4 game to start the day.
The Wildcats are set to begin their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule on Saturday as their doubleheader against Concordia has been switched to a home game at Wilson Field. The first pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m.