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Hawthorne the Hero in Game One; Annone’s Near Cycle in Game Two Lead Wilmington Baseball Past Chestnut Hill

Hawthorne the Hero in Game One; Annone’s Near Cycle in Game Two Lead Wilmington Baseball Past Chestnut Hill

The Wilmington University baseball team remained unbeaten in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference on Wednesday afternoon, sweeping Chestnut Hill, 6-4 and 10-0, on the road at Latshaw-McCarthy Field.

In a battle of NCBWA East Regionally ranked teams, the No. 6 Wildcats (18-7, 8-0 CACC) scored late in both games to down the No. 8 Griffins (12-7, 7-3 CACC) and remain atop the CACC standings.

Senior first baseman Tyler Hawthorne doubled to right center with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning to break a 4-4 tie in the first game before the Wildcats scored six runs in the final three innings to break open the nightcap.

The Griffins answered each of the Wildcats scoring innings in the first game, as the Griffins tied the game 3-3 in the bottom of the third. Matt Lopes singled home Sam Goines in the top of the fifth for the 4-3 lead but Chestnut Hill tied the game once again in the bottom half with an unearned run.

Josh Swirchak started the top of the seventh with a double down the left field line before Lopes sacrificed his at-bat to put Swirchak and Goines in scoring position with one out. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Hawthorne took a full count pitch to the game in right center for two runs and the 6-4 lead.

Mike Torres gave up a hit in the bottom of the seventh but picked off the runner at second for the final out of the inning. Kyle Menchaca tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the eighth before Tyler Fries ended the game with a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Starter Frank Samluk pitched six inning while striking out eight batters and only allowing one walk. He gave up seven hits and four runs (two earned) but earned the win to improve to 4-0 on the year.

The offense started fast in game two, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after three full innings.

Jon Castro scored on an error in the top of the first before Tory Manfre knocked in a run with a double to left in the second. Castro scored again in the third on a first and third double steal before Lopes brought in another run with an RBI single.

That was more than enough for the four Wildcat pitchers as Jake Wersinger went the first 5.2 scoreless innings to earn the win and improve to 2-2 on the year. He allowing two hits and three walks but struck out three batters.

Zach Rumford went the next 1.1 scoreless while picking up two strikeouts, including one to get out of a two-on jam in the sixth. Peter Monahan tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout before Menchaca struck out two more in the ninth to close out the sweep.

Goines earned an RBI on a bases loaded walk in the seventh before Conor Steven picked up an RBI on a ground out in the eighth. Mike Annone broke the game wide open in the top of the ninth, launching a grand slam to right with two outs in the inning.

Swirchak and Lopes had two hits each in game one to lead the offense, with both of Swirchak's hits coming as doubles. Annone was a triple away from hitting the cycle in game two, batting 4-for5 with four RBI and two runs scored while Manfre was the only other Wildcats with multiple hits in game two, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Both Swirchak and Lopes added hits in game two to finished the doubleheader with three hits each.

The Wildcats round out their busy week with another CACC doubleheader on Saturday, hosting Felician at Wilson Field for their sixth and seventh games of the week. Game one of the twin bill is scheduled for 12 p.m.