NEW CASTLE, Del. - - The Wilmington University baseball team was unable to find the key hits on Friday, falling to Southern Connecticut State, 6-2, and Southern New Hampshire, 6-2, in the NCAA Division II East 1 Regional at Wilson Field.
With the losses, the Wildcats end their season with a 31-13 overall record, being eliminated while appearing in their 10th NCAA Regional Tournament.
The Wildcats left 11 runners on base against the Owls (31-13-1) in the opener while leaving six more on base in the second game against Southern New Hampshire (42-9).
It was a six-run top of the sixth inning that broke the game open for the Owls. They were threatening early in the game, but starter Ryan Sandberg was able to work in and out of jams in the early going.
The Owls left two runners on in the first and third innings, but the Wildcats couldn't get anything going offensively either. They got back-to-back one-out singles in the bottom of the third by Nic Hertzfeld and Jack McDonald, but they were left in scoring position to end the inning.
Matt Warrington singled to start the fifth and then Quintin Ivy was hit by a pitch to put two on with two outs. But again, the Owls were able to find a way out of the inning unscathed to keep the game scoreless.
The Owls got to starter Ryan Sandberg in the top of the sixth, as the first four batters singled, scoring two runs. A walk loaded the bases and then the Owls broke it open with a three-run double to make it 5-0. A squeeze bunt made it 6-0 with the six-run inning.
The Wildcats again left two runners on in the bottom of the seventh and then finally broke through in the ninth. Matt Warrington doubled in Shawn Edevane and then Jack McDonald grounded out to score Warrington to score two for the Wildcats. The Wildcats had a runner on second with one out in the ninth, but they couldn't scratch across any more runs as the Owls took the game, 6-2.
Nic Hertzfeld, Jack McDonald, and Matt Warrington all finished with two hits in the game. Dom Grady, Justin Brooks, Justin Barcoski, Xander Emberger, and AJ Stento all had scoreless outings in relief for the Wildcats.
Southern New Hampshire jumped out early on the Wildcats in the second game on Friday, hitting two homers in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead.
Starter Kyle Maxwell settled into his start after the first inning, going six innings whiles allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk while striking out three batters.
Shawn Edevane put the Wildcats on the board in the top of the fifth, launching his fourth homer of the year, a long shot over the batter's eye in center, 4-1. The Wildcats put a runner on second with one out in the sixth, and a runner on second and no outs in the seventh but couldn't score either runner.
Jack McDonald singled in Erik Grady in the eighth to make it 6-2, but that's all the Wildcats could get as they left two more on in the inning. Shawn Haut started the ninth with a single, but he was stuck at first and SNHU closed out the victory.
In the 18 innings on Thursday, the Wildcats left 17 runners on base.
Southern New Hampshire and Southern Connecticut State move on to play a best-of-three series to close out the East Regional 1 Bracket on Friday and possibly Saturday.