After escaping a bases loaded jam in the top of the first inning the Wilmington University baseball team put up 13 runs on 16 hits to advance to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Championship with a 13-0 victory over third seeded Chestnut Hill on Friday afternoon at Wilson Field.
This is the fifth straight year the Wildcats (32-12) will take part in the CACC Tournament Championship game, winning three straight from 2010-13. The team lost in the CACC Tournament Championship game last year.
The Wildcats put four runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning after start Frank Samluk got out of a bases loaded jam with two outs, striking out Robert Slagle to end the threat.
Samluk got redemption in the bottom of the first, leading off the batting order with a single. Samluk roped a single into center that bounced past the center fielder, allowing Samluk to get all the way to third base. Christian Adorno walked and Josh Swirchak lined a double over the head of the left fielder. Adorno was waved around from first, avoiding the tag at home to make it 2-0 in favor of the Wildcats.
Sam Goines followed with an RBI single to right center, bringing in Swirchak for the 3-0 lead. Tyler Hawthorne finished the scoring off with an RBI infield single, bringing in Goines.
Samluk threw 44 pitches through the first two innings but settled down to battle through seven innings.
The score was still 4-0 in the bottom of the sixth when the Griffins went to the bullpen. The Wildcats got to the bullpen quickly, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, receiving an RBI from Adorno on a perfectly executed squeeze play, getting the bat on the ball even though the ball was in the dirt. Adorno and Samluk then executed a double steal with runners at first and third, as Samluk slid home for the 6-0 lead.
Samluk needed help to get through the top of the seventh inning, as the Griffins had two runners on without an out being recorded. Samluk picked up his fifth strikeout of the game for the first out before inducing a 6-3 double play to get out of the inning unscathed.
Tyler Hawthorne doubled in a run to start a six run seventh inning for the offense. Samluk walked with the bases loaded while Adorno knocked in a pair with a single to left. Goines doubled to left for another RBI before Matt Lopes capped the scoring with an RBI single down the third base line.
Rob Gore relieved Samluk in the eighth and tossed a scoreless inning before Kyle Menchace tossed a scoreless ninth to preserve the shutout.
Lopes led the offense with three hits on Friday while Adorno and Swirchak led the team with three RBI each. Both Goines and Hawthorne knocked in a pair with two hits each. Samluk, Swirchak, Goines, Hawthorne, and Tory Manfre collected two hits apiece for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats only need to win one game on Saturday in the Championship, with the game scheduled for an 11 a.m. start. The "if necessary" game will immediately follow the end of the first game tomorrow.
The Wildcats will face the Griffins in a rematch as Chestnut Hill defeated second seeded Post, 6-2, in the elimination game on Friday afternoon.