The back end of the bull pen spoiled a solid outing for Rob Gore as the Wilmington University baseball team couldn't hold onto a late lead, falling to Bridgeport, 4-3, in 10 innings on Monday Night at Harbor Yard.
The Wildcats (30-10) scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined to grab a 3-1 lead, but the Purple Knights (20-21) tied the game in the bottom of the eighth before winning it in walk-off style in the bottom of the 10th.
Gore allowed a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI groundout, but otherwise held the Knights in check. The senior recorded 12 straight outs since a one out walk in the third inning, giving up a one-out single to right in the seventh. He then induced an inning ending double play to escape the frame, effectively ending his outing.
The offense gave Gore the lead in the top of the seventh inning, as Josh Swirchak started the rally with a one-out single to left. Now with two outs, Sean Feeney doubled to left field, chasing Swirchak all the way around from first to tie the game, 1-1. Christian Adorno singled into center, allowing Feeney to come home for the 2-1 lead.
Frank Samluk added to the Wildcats lead in the top of the eighth inning, hitting a one-out triple to score Kyle Fries after he led off the inning by reaching on an error.
The Purple Knights immediately got to the Wildcat bullpen, scoring two runs on two hits while being aided by a walk and a hit-by-pitch by Kyle Menchaca.
The Wildcats put their first two runners on base in the top of the ninth, nut Swirchak was picked off second, Feeney struck out and Adorno flied out as the Knights quickly got out of the inning.
Tyler Fries tossed a scoreless bottom of the ninth for the Wildcats but the offense couldn't get anything going in the top of the 10th. Peter Monahan came on to pitch in the bottom of the tenth, and the Purple Knights put the pressure on with the second pitch of his outing.
Purple Knight centerfielder Tyler Gambardella tripled to right to start the inning before a walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with one out. Tim Bickford singled into right on a 2-0 pitch, bringing in the game winning run.
Samluk went 2-for-4 from atop the Wildcat lineup, knocking in a RBI as well. Gore struck out six in his seven innings of work, only allowing a run on three hits while walking one.
The Wildcats wrap up their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference regular season on Tuesday as they head to Post for a doubleheader. The first pitch is slated for 12 p.m.