CORAM, N.Y. - - First the first time in program history, the Wilmington University bowling team will compete on Sunday at the East Coast Conference Tournament Championship, advancing to Sunday after going 2-1 in Baker Bracket play on Saturday afternoon at the Coram County Lanes.
The Wildcats will play Bloomfield in another Baker Bracket best of seven match first thing on Sunday morning. The winner moves on to play Adelphi in a mega-match for the ECC Championship.
After qualifying second overall on Friday, the Wildcats kept the momentum going into their first match on Saturday morning. In a Baker Bracket best of seven, the Wildcats defeated Felician, 4-0 to move on in the winner's bracket. Wilmington came out blazing, putting up 200-games in each of the four contests. They won, 230-211, 221-182, 256-167, and 215-183, to move past the Golden Falcons.
The Wildcats needed to fight more in their second contest, facing Kutztown with the winner knowing they will be playing on Sunday. The Golden Bears came out fast, taking the first game, 212-174. The Wildcats evened the match with a 166-146 win in game two, but Kutztown answered with a 201-196 win in game three. The back-and-forth match kept going, as the Wildcats evened the match, 214-135. The Wildcats took a 3-2 lead with a 190-165 win in game five, but they couldn't close out Kutztown as the Bears narrowly won game six, 212-211. Knotted at 3-3, the teams again drew even, tying the seventh game, 205-205, to move onto a roll-off.
The roll-off consisted of bowling frames 6-10 to determine a winner. The Wildcats eked by the Bear, 84-79, as the game came down to the final roll.
Playing for an automatic spot in the championship match, the Wildcats fell to Adelphi, but battled back after being down early. The Panthers took a 3-0 lead on the Wildcats, but the Wildcats were able to stay alive with a 178-178 tie. The Wildcats then won game five, 203-173, and game six, 202-159, before the Panthers finished off the Wildcats, 224-196, to win the match, 4.5-2.5.
Bloomfield qualified eighth on Friday and defeated Roberts Wesleyan, 4-3, Kutztown, 4-2, and then top seeded Daemen, 4-2, to make it to Sunday.