The Wilmington University baseball team is Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference champions once again as the team beat Dominican College Chargers 14-8 on Saturday at Municipal Stadium. The win also extended the Wildcats winning streak to 10 games.
This is Wilmington’s eighth time to take the CACC title. The program also was the top cat in the CACC in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018.
This is first time the Wildcats have won back-to-back titles since 2013, when the team won three straight CACC titles from 2011-2013 seasons.
The was no lack of offense in this game as the two teams combined for 28 hits and 22 runs.
As runs batted in ( RBIs) goes, there was six Wilmington hitters who hit RBIs and they were senior right fielder Dakota Graham (2),redshirt junior left fielder Eddie Nevins (4),was senior catcher Luke Johnson (2), redshirt junior DH Brooks Ryan (1), redshirt senior second baseman Max Carney (2) and redshirt sophomore third baseman Brett Nowell (1).
Eight WilmU players had runs in the win and they were Wilmington’s Graham (2), redshirt sophomore right fielder Quintin Ivy (1), senior first baseman Kendall Small (2), Nevins (2),Johnson (2), Ryan (1),Carney (2) and Nowell (2).
Seven Wilmington hitters gained a hit in the win and they were Graham (2), Small (1),Nevins (2),Johnson (3),Ryan (2),Carney (4) and Nowell (1).
Luke Johnson (2) and Max Carney (2) each stole a base in the championship game.
Max Carney would be named the CACC Tournament MVP where he had nine hits, four runs, seven RBIs, two walks and three stolen bases in the tournament.
On the pitching side, the staff went through some bumps in this game but as the innings went on, the stronger they became on the mound.
Wilmington’s starter redshirt junior Dan Hyatt did not have it easy in this game as he went five innings, nine hits,seven runs, six earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts and earned the win ( ninth of the season).
Freshman Danny Sullivan would come in to the game and relieve Hyatt, as he went 2.1 innings, three hits,one run and two strikeouts.
The next pitcher to come to the mound for the Wildcats was redshirt senior Zach Frederick who went 0.2 innings.
Kendall Small would again close out the game for the Wildcats as he went one inning, one hit and two strikeouts.
Runs Start To Drop In Second Inning
The first inning was quiet but that would change in the second inning when each team put runs on the board.
Chargers were the first ones to drop some runs as Jordan Bernacet would double to left center which scored Anthony Bartolomei to give their team a 1-0 lead.
The next batter for Dominican in the top of second inning was Billy Rotella who also hit a double which allowed Jordan Bernacet to score to extend their team’s lead to 2-0.
In the bottom of the second inning, it was Wilmington’s time to answer back and the team did as they capitalized on a mistake by the Chargers.
Max Carney would hit a single to center field but he would advanced to second on a error by Dominican’s center fielder. The error would also allow Brooks Ryan to score to decrease Chargers lead to 2-1.
Chargers Score a Combined Five Runs In Third & Fourth Innings
The third inning had no shortage of offense as the two teams had a combined six runs in the inning.
The runs in the third inning started with Chargers Jordan Bernacet as he hit a double down left field line which scored Joshua Colon and Anthony Bartolomei to give their team a 4-1 lead.
The Wildcats would answer back in the bottom of the third inning with scoring four runs of their own to take over the lead.
The first runs of the inning came from Wildcats Eddie Nevins who hit a single up the middle which scored Dakota Graham and Brett Nowell to decrease the Chargers lead to 4-3.
The last runs of the inning came from Max Carney who hit a single which scored Nevins and Kendall Small which gave Wilmington a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the third inning.
Wilmington’s first lead of the game would not last long as Dominican would answer back in the top of the fourth inning with scoring three more runs to take the lead back.
The first run of the fourth inning for the Chargers came from Brian Sanders who hit a single to the right side which scored Brett Karcher-Bowen to tie the game up at five runs each.
The last two runs of the inning for the Chargers came from Justin Decker who would hit a double down the left field line which scored Sanders and Elijah Tavarez to give their team a 7-5 lead.
Wilmington Scores a Combined Six Runs In the Fifth & Sixth Innings
In the bottom of fifth inning, the Wildcats offense found the firepower once again as the team scored four runs in the inning to regain the lead.
The first run of the inning came from Eddie Nevins who hit a triple to right center which allowed Kendall Small to score which decreased the Chargers lead to 7-6.
The next run came from Luke Johnson who hit a single to the left side which would allow Nevins to score to tie the game up at seven runs.
The next run came from speed as Max Carney would steal second base but as he was doing this, Johnson would steal home to give the Wildcats a 8-7 lead.
The last run of the inning came from Brett Nowell who hit a single to right field which scored Carney to extend Wilmington’s lead to 9-7.
The top of the sixth inning is where Wildcats starting pitcher Dan Hyatt would exit, he had a eventful day on the mound as he went five innings, nine hits,seven runs, six earned runs, one walk, three strikeouts and earned the win.
Dan Sullivan would come in to the game and relieve Hyatt, as he went 2.1 innings, three hits,one run and two strikeouts.
Sullivan gave up one run in the top of the sixth inning to Chargers Justin Decker as he flied out to left field for a sacrifice fly which allowed Brian Sanders to score to decrease Wilmington’s lead to 9-8.
This would be the last time the Chargers would score a run in this game.
Wilmington would continue to add to their lead as the team scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The first run of the sixth inning for the Wildcats came from Eddie Nevins who grounded out to the Chargers shortstop but that would allow Dakota Graham to score to extend their team’s lead to 10-8.
The last run of the inning came from Luke Johnson who hit a single to left field which scored Quintin Ivy to give the Wildcats a 11-8 lead.
Wildcats Score a Combined Three Runs In 7th & 8th Innings
The Wildcats offense was not done adding runs to their lead as the team scored two more runs in the seventh inning.
The two runs came from Dakota Graham who hit a double to right center field which scored Brett Nowell and Max Carney to extend Wilmington’s lead to 13-8.
In the top of the eighth, after seeing three batters Dan Sullivan’s day was done.
Zach Frederick would come into the game to relieve Sullivan as he went 0.2 innings.
The Wildcats would add one last run in the bottom of the eighth, as Brooks Ryan hit a single through the left side which scored Luke Johnson to give their team a 14-8 lead.
It was all up to Kendall Small in the ninth to close out this game to clinch the title which he did just that as he had one Dominican batter fly out and the two last batters went down with strikes. The last out would end the game with the Wildcats taking the CACC title for the second straight year with a 14-8 win over the Chargers.
The Wildcats earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament and their opponent will be announced NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night at 10 pm ET.