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Matt Lopes’ Eighth Inning Single Lifts Wilmington Baseball Past Queens, 4-2

Matt Lopes’ Eighth Inning Single Lifts Wilmington Baseball Past Queens, 4-2

two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the ninth of the bat of Matt Lopes gave the Wilmington University baseball team a 4-2 nonconference victory over Queens on Tuesday afternoon at Wilson Field.

The first hit of the game wasn't recorded until the bottom of the fifth inning, but Queens (4-7) already held a 2-0 lead at that point with a two run top of the fifth with no hits. The Wildcats (16-7) scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth and then received the two-run single from Lopes in the bottom of the eighth to secure the come from behind victory.

Freshman Matt Frost tossed five hitless innings in his first collegiate start, striking out three but exited the game down 2-0 after allowing two unearned runs in the top of the fifth.

A pair of errors put the first two runners on second and third in the fifth innings without an out on the board. The Knights took a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout before grabbing the 2-0 lead on an safety squeeze play with a runner on third and one out.

The Wildcats picked up the first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth, as freshman Connor Stevens singled into left field for his first collegiate career hit.

But the Wildcats didn't get on the board until a two-run sixth inning. Frank Samluk started the rally with a one-out double inside the third base bag and the Wildcats had runners on second and third with one out. Josh Swirchak singled through the hole in left to easily score Samluk form third, but Jon Castro could only move up 90 feet having to wait to see the ball go through. Now with the bases loaded, Mike Annone hit a sacrifice fly to center, tying the game, 2-2, as Castro came home.

The Knights picked up their first hit of the game in the top of the seventh but reliever Chris Lopez left the runner on to end the frame.

Queens had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the eighth as a two-out single put runners on first and third. Mike Torres came on to relieve Lopez and struck out Diego Gonzalez on a full count, stranding two more for the Knights.

Swirchak started the eighth inning rally with a single to center with one out before Annone put runners on first and third with a two-out single. After Annone stole second, Lopes looped a full count pitch into center field, falling in front of the center fielder to easily score Swirchak and Annone for the 4-2 lead.

Tyler Fries came on for the top of the ninth and left another Knight on base, as a one-out double went for naught as Fries picked up his sixth save of the season.

Torres earned his first win as a Wildcat with the strikeout in the eighth to get out of the jam as the Wildcats took the lead in the bottom half. Fries' sixth saves leads the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.

Swirchak was the lone Wildcat to pick up more than one hit on the day, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Wildcats' busy week continues tomorrow afternoon as they return to CACC action at Chestnut Hill. The Griffins (12-5, 7-1 CACC) are ranked eighth in the latest NCBWA East Region Poll while the Wildcats are ranked sixth. The first pitch of the conference doubleheader is scheduled for 1 p.m.