NEW CASTLE, Del. – The Philadelphia University baseball team overcame a two-run deficit in the ninth inning of game one of Thursday's Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) doubleheader at Wilmington (Del.) University to earn a 4-3 win and a split of the twinbill. The Wildcats took the second game by an 11-5 score.
The Rams (15-24, 6-8 CACC) started their rally with a one-out walk by pinch hitter Nick Goetz (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) off of closer Kyle Menchaca, who entered the game at the beginning of the inning. After Goetz stole second and went to third on a wild pitch, Andres Valbuena (Miami, Fla./Doral Academy) drew a walk to put runners at the corners.
Fernando Garza (Laredo, Texas/Alexander)—who hit a solo home run in the seventh to get the Rams on the board—delivered a RBI single to right to cap off a 4-for-5 game at drive in Goetz. The single also chased Menchaca from the game and brought Brad Scull.
Garza greeted Scull to the game by stealing second base to give the Rams two runners in scoring position. Jeffery Briggs (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown), the first batter Scull faced, tied the game with a sacrifice fly.
After Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School)—who went 2-for-4—was intentionally walked, Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) came through with a single to left field, plating Garza to put Philadelphia up 4-3.
Wilmington (12-22, 9-5 CACC) made things interesting during its turn in the ninth with a pair of one-out walks off of closer Luke Floer (Brewster, N.Y./North Salem). Floer would settle down to get Nick Macey and Christian Adorno to strike out and seal the win.
Ryan O'Neill (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) earned his first career victory with a scoreless inning of relief, which included a pair of strikeouts. Garza went the first seven, giving up three runs on six hits, and fanned six in a no decision.
Menchaca was the losing pitcher. Jay Kluka left the game as the winning pitcher as he allowed one run—the Garza homer—on nine hits in seven innings.
The Rams outhit the Wildcats, 12-7.
Wilmington took a 3-0 lead with three runs in the fourth, two on a Brooks Ryan single and one on a Jesse Long base hit.
The Wildcats snapped a four-all tie through five innings with single runs in the sixth and seventh to move ahead 6-4.
Philadelphia got one run back in the top of the eighth thanks to a Goetz sacrifice fly. Wilmington broke the contest open during its turn in the eighth, scoring five times to increase the gap to six. After Rocky Ferrier knocked in two with a one-out double, Wilmington scored three two-out runs, including singles by Adorno and Frank Nigro.
In the fourth inning, Philadelphia opened the scoring with a Dan Klusman (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) RBI double and a David McTaggart (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth) single to drive in a second run, but Wilmington came back with a two-run Adorno single.
An inning later, Brandon Quaranta put the Rams back in the lead as he knocked in two runs with a double to right field. The Wildcats answered back in the bottom of the fifth with a RBI single and a RBI fielder's choice to knot the score.
Klusman was 3-for-4, while Quaranta recorded two hits in four at-bats. The Wildcats got four hits and three RBIs from Adorno and three hits and three RBIs from Ferrier.
Chris Lopez was the winning pitcher with 3.2 innings of relief. He gave up two runs on three hits and struck out two. Jonathan Gottschall (Reading, Pa./Governor Mifflin) took the loss, surrendering six runs—three earned—on 12 hits in 6.1 innings.
Philadelphia heads to Dominican (N.Y.) for a CACC doubleheader on Sunday, April 24 at 5 p.m.