WATERBURY, Conn. – The Philadelphia University baseball team had its 2017 season come to a close after being eliminated from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament with a pair of losses Thursday at Municipal Stadium. The Rams opened the day with a 13-3 loss to Chestnut Hill and ended the season with an 11-7 loss to Wilmington (Del.).
Philadelphia completes the season with a 19-30 overall record. The Rams reached the double-elimination stage for the second straight season, the first time in program history that the team accomplished that feat.
The Rams took a 1-0 lead against the Griffins when Matt McGee ripped a two-out double to left-center field to plate Dan Klusman in the top of the second inning. Klusman led off the frame with a single and later stole second base.
Then, the Chestnut Hill (22-19-1) offense came to life as the Griffins scored three runs in the third, three in the fourth, and five more in the fifth to take an 11-1 lead. The Ram defense committed two errors during the third inning and one an inning later.
After a pair of scoreless innings, Philadelphia had two more miscues during the bottom of the eighth to lead to two more Chestnut Hill runs.
Jeff Briggs had two of Philadelphia's seven hits in the loss. Eric Gilham led Chestnut Hill with four hits, while Eric Small, Austin DiBonaventure, and Brandon DiBona added three hits each. DiBona and Alec Craig knocked in two runs,
Patrick Kelley recorded five strikeouts while allowing one run on four hits over six innings to get the win.
Like the Chestnut Hill game, Philadelphia jumped out to an early one-run advantage against Wilmington. Briggs started the game by singling to right, went to second on a Christopher Lorenzo sacrifice bunt, and scored from second on a Brandon Quaranta base hit to left.
Wilmington (30-21) responded with a four-run bottom of the first, including a two-run double by Dan Hyatt to take a 4-1 lead after one. The Wildcats tacked on three runs in the third and one run in the fourth to extend the gap to 8-1.
Philadelphia fought back in the six to cut its deficit to three runs. After loading the bases with one out, Matt McGee cashed in with a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the frame. With the bases loaded once again thanks to a Tim Brodhag walk, Briggs smacked a bases-clearing double to center to make it an 8-5 game.
The Wildcats bounced right back three runs in the last of the sixth to reclaim a six-run cushion.
Melendez knocked in Philadelphia's final two runs of the contest. He had a two-out RBI infield single in the seventh and a RBI fielder's choice in the ninth.
Steven Wells, Briggs, Quaranta, and Klusman all delivered two hits for the Rams.
Hyatt finished the day with two hits and four RBI, while Julian Kurych and Jesse Long both had two hits and knocked in two. Chuck Delagol was the winning pitcher as he struck out five in 5.1 innings. Delagol walked six Rams and allowed four runs on three hits.