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Baseball Hangs on In CACC Tournament Opener, 11-8, Over Felician

Copyright 2022; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Dan Lauletta. April 19, 2022 vs. West Chester at Citizens Bank Park.
Copyright 2022; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo by Dan Lauletta. April 19, 2022 vs. West Chester at Citizens Bank Park.

Press Written by Mitchell Coll

WATERBURY, Conn. - - The Wilmington University Baseball team started on the right foot in the 2022 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament, topping the North Division's No. 2 seed Felician University, 11-8, to advance into the winner's bracket on Thursday at Municipal Stadium.

The CACC Pitcher of the Year lived up to his name as Ryan Sandberg adds another accolade to his historic season. Sandberg struck out 10 batters to push his total to 107 strikeouts on the season, giving him the single-season program record for most strikeouts. Sandberg passes Joe Harris's 2010 season, where Harris struck out 100 batters. Sandberg joins Harris as the only two pitchers in the Wildcats' NCAA era to strike out 100 batters in a season.

But it didn't come easily for Sandberg and the Wildcats on Thursday as Felician jumped to an early lead by scoring single runs in the first two innings. Nic Hertzfeld helped the Wildcats take their first lead in the bottom of the second. Hertzfeld singled to left field, allowing JJ Killen to score. Jack McDonald stepped up to the plate, delivering a single to right that scored two runners, for the 3-2 lead.

Felician homered to tie the game, 3-3, in the top of the third but Shawn Edevane doubled to left to score Shawn Haut, regaining the lead 4-3, after three full.

To the fifth we go, and the Golden Falcons answered by scoring two runs on one hit, and one Wildcat error, to tie the game, 5-5. The Wildcat's bats stayed hot in the bottom of the fifth answering with two runs of their own. Adrian Jimenez singled to right field, allowing John Mead to score from second base. Shawn Edevane delivered again and batted in Jimenez to make it 7-5 Wildcats after five innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcats extended their lead with hits from Jack McDonald and John Mead. McDonald smacked a two-run single while Mead singled to right field scoring McDonald and extending the Wildcat's lead to four runs, 9-5.

The Wildcats' defense came up in the clutch in the top of the 7th by only allowing one run to be scored by the Golden Falcons on their three hits, but knocking Sandberg out of the game.

In the bottom of the eighth, the 'Cats add two insurance runs thanks to McDonald and Haut. After a Hertzfeld double, McDonald stepped up to the plate with a double of his own scoring Hertzfeld. Haut delivered on a sacrifice fly to right field, which scored McDonald and the Wildcat's final run, 11-6

Felician tried to come back in the top of the ninth, scoring the first run on a walk and two errors. No with two outs, they loaded the bases before another BRI single made it 11-8. Alex Krick came on and induced a ground ball to end the game and earn his sixth save of the year.

Nic Hertzfeld went 2-for-3 with a double and one RBI. Shawn Edevane had two hits with three at-bats two RBIs and two doubles. Jack McDonald had a team-leading three hits and three RBI. John Mead went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sandberg pitched 6.2 innings and struck out 10 batters to improve to 9-2.

The Wildcats will move on to the winner's bracket playing the winner of the Post vs. Jefferson matchup on Friday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m.