NEW CASTLE, Del. - - Matt Boyko threw six innings in game two to salvage a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference South Division split with Chestnut Hill, dropping game one, 13-5, before battling back to take the nightcap, 4-2, on Monday afternoon at Wilson Field.
The split keeps the Wildcats (15-8, 15-8 CACC) ahead of Chestnut Hill (16-13, 14-8 CACC) by one game in the loss column and in third place heading into the final doubleheader of the regular season on Tuesday at Dominican.
Chestnut Hill came out firing on all cylinders in the opener, collecting 17 hits, including nine extra base hits, and scoring 13 runs. Zach Ahmed finished 4-for-5 with three triples, a double, and seven RBI for the Griffins.
The game started with the Griffins scoring just two batters in, getting a leadoff single and an ensuing triple for the first run. Starter Dan Hyatt was able to work out of the jam by only allowing the one run, but he couldn't dance around trouble in the second.
The first four Griffins reached base in the second, starting the inning with a double, a walk, a single to load the bases and then a two-run double down the left field line from Ahmed. An RBI groundout and another RBI single gave the visitors a 5-0 lead after the second.
The Wildcats put their first two runners on in the bottom half, but could only get one across in the frame on a CJ Deery sacrifice fly.
The Wildcats again put their first two runners on in the fourth, but a strike out, an infield fly, and a fielder's choice ended the inning without moving the runners along.
A two-run triple followed by an RBI double gave the Griffins an 8-1 lead in the fifth, before the Wildcats answered with an RBI double form Quintin Ivy, and another sacrifice in the home half, bringing the score to 8-3.
Another two-run triple by Ahmed moved the score to 10-3 in the sixth before he capped his game with another RBI triple in the top of the eighth. Ameir Uzzell plated Ahmed with another single, giving the Griffins the 13-4 lead.
Ivy picked up another RBI in the ninth, but it was too little too late in the 13-5 loss.
Matt Boyko started the nightcap strong, leaving only a two-out hit by pitch in the second on base.
Dan Hyatt started the bottom of the second with a double to center field, and the Wildcats had runners on first and third and no outs in the innings. A Wildcat pitch scored the game's first run, as Hyatt snuck his hand in before the catcher could retrieve the ball and get back to the plate.
The Griffins cut the lead in half with a leadoff triple and an error on the next batter in the fourth. But Erik Molinaro threw up the runner trying to take second on a ball in the dirt for the first out, clearing the bases. Boyko then got a fly ball and a strikeout to end the inning.
Chestnut Hill tried to make this interesting in the top of the sixth, but got overzealous on the basepaths. A leadoff single got passed the left fielder, but Jack McDonald tracked it down and the relay caught the runner trying to get to third. Boyko allowed an infield single but then Brett Brooks snared a line drive above his head at first base to end the inning.
The Wildcats loaded the bases without a hit in the bottom of the sixth, and scored two insurance runs via a two-out hit by pitch and a walk, 4-1.
Rich Albrecht came on in the seventh but single, a walk, and another single loaded the bases with only one out for the Griffins. A sacrifice fly made it 4-2, before the game-tying run stole second and was a hit away from tying the game. But Albrecht picked up a strikeout on a curveball, giving the Wildcats the win, 4-2.
Boyko struck out five while allowing one run on six hits, earning his first win as a Wildcat. Albrecht earned his fourth save of the season.
The Wildcats close out the regular season on Tuesday when they head to Dominican for a cross-divisional doubleheader. The first pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. in Orangeburg, N.Y.