PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - The Wilmington University baseball team couldn't come up with the big hit, falling to South Division No. 2 Jefferson, 4-1, in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Quarterfinal on Monday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Wildcats (16-10) could only collect three hits in the game, but had men on base often with seven walks and one hit by pitch.
After Quintin Ivy walked in the first inning, the Wildcats didn't have another base runner until the top of the fifth inning. Brock Nowell singled to start the fifth and Ryan Speed walked to put runners on first and second. Matt Warrington moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and then Nic Hertzfeld walked to load the bases with only one out. But a strikeout and a fly out ended the frame without the Wildcats crossing the plate.
The Rams (22-10) carried that momentum into their at-bats in the bottom of the fifth, getting a one-out single, followed by back-to-back doubles to plate two for the game's first runs off starter Dan Hyatt. A hit-by-pitch and a single loaded the bases before reliever Ryan Sandberg hit another batter to make it 3-0 in favor of the Rams.
Nic Hertzfeld walked and Brett Brooks was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out in the seventh. Now with two outs, Jack McDonald singled up the middle to score Hertzfeld to put the Wildcats on the board, 3-1. But a strikeout ended the inning, leaving two more runners on base.
The Rams had a two-out rally in the eighth, getting a single and a triple to add the insurance run, 4-1.
Down to their last chance, the Wildcats had a runner on second with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game, 4-1.
With the win, the Rams will host Chestnut Hill in the South Division Championship on Thursday afternoon.
Dan Hyatt struck out six without any walks in 4.1 innings, but fell to 2-4 on the year with the loss. Hyatt finished his career eighth all-time with 169 career strikeouts, and second all-time with a 10.44 K/9.