PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - - The Bill Giles Invitational trophy heads back to West Chester as the Golden Rams held off the Wilmington University baseball team in extra innings, 10-8, despite the Wildcats having chances in the late innings at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday.
The Wildcats (20-7) left 16 runners on base in the contest, including 11 from the seventh inning and on. The Wildcats had chances to walk-off the Golden Rams (21-9) and win their third straight Bill Giles Invitational in the bottom of the ninth, 10th, and 11th innings, getting a runner into scoring position with less than two outs in each frame.
West Chester scored first, plating two in the top of the first inning. But the Wildcats answered right back in the bottom of the first inning, getting a two-out RBI single from John Mead and scoring on an error, 2-2.
A two-out hit-by-pitch kept the top of the third inning alive for the Golden Rams and their No. 4 hitter made the Wildcats pay with a two-run homer to left, 4-4. West Chester regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning, scoring two on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly, 6-4.
JJ Killen started the bottom of the sixth off with a double to left and then Nic Hertzfeld followed with a double inside the third base bag. Now with two outs, Jack McDonald went the opposite direction and hit a double off the left field wall, scoring two more to give the Wildcats a 7-6 lead.
John Mead led off the bottom of the seventh off with a long home run to right field, hitting off the video board on the face of the second deck to give the Wildcats an 8-6 lead. But the Golden Rams had an answer again in the top of the eighth inning, hitting a two-out, two-run homer into the flower bed in left to tie the game, 8-8.
The Wildcats loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the ninth, but West Chester came up with two strikeouts to escape the jam and send the game into extra innings.
John Mead hit a one-out double to left center in the bottom of the 10th and had runners on second and third with only one out again, but a strikeout and ground out ended the frame still tied.
A pair of errors put the first two runners on for the Wildcats in the 11th, but a pair of strikeouts and a pop up ended the threat once again.
West Chester took the lead in the top of the 12th, hitting a two-out solo home run to left. Back-to-back singles scored another run for the Golden Rams, taking a 10-8 lead. The Wildcats did not have answer in the home half of the 12th.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Wednesday, as they face Chestnut Hill at Wilson Field for the first game of a three-game set. The first pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.