Offense stymied as baseball falls twice to Wilmington (Del.) in CACC opener

Offense stymied as baseball falls twice to Wilmington (Del.) in CACC opener

BEL AIR, Md. – The Philadelphia University baseball team opened Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) play with just nine hits in a pair of losses to Wilmington (Del.) University, 4-2 and 1-0, at Harford Community College Monday afternoon.

Philadelphia (2-10, 0-2 CACC) scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to erase a 2-0 game-one deficit.

Steven Wells (Yardley, Pa./The Hun School) led off the fourth by drawing a walk and made his way to third base on a one-out double off the bat of Dan Klusman (Wilmington, Del./St. Elizabeth). Paul McElroy (Southampton, Pa./William Tennett) grounded out to first base, allowing Wells to trot home for the Rams' first run.

One inning later, Brandon Quaranta (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Arlington) drove a Sean Deely offering over the center field fence to knot the score at two. The home run is Quaranta's team-leading seventh of the season, tying his career high.

The Wildcats (8-5, 2-0 CACC) broke the deadlock when Rocky Ferrier delivered a one-out RBI single—his second hit of the game—in the seventh inning. Frank Nigro tacked on an insurance run with an eighth-inning groundout to make the score 4-2.

Wilmington took a 2-0 lead on a Mike Annone two-run home run with two away in the third.

Klusman finished the game with two of the Rams' four hits. Julian Kurych recorded two hits for Wilmington, who had nine in the contest.

Rudy Gervolino was the winning pitcher after giving the Wildcats a scoreless seventh inning. Dan Hyatt recorded two strikeouts in the ninth to record the save. Jack Galligan (New City, N.Y./Clarkstown North) took the loss for the Rams. Casey O'Donnell (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) allowed two runs on six hits and fanned two over six innings in a no decision.

Abraham Almonte (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) turned in a tremendous performance for Philadelphia in the nightcap. Almonte fanned a career-high 12 batters in six innings and surrendered just four hits in the loss.

He is the first Ram pitcher to record 12 strikeouts in a single game since Fernando Garza struck out 14 Le Moyne hitters in a 4-0 victory on March 9, 2014.

The lone blemish against Almonte came in the form of a Kurych two-out solo home run, which would be the lone run of the game.

Philadelphia attempted to put together a rally in the fifth and sixth, getting runners in scoring position during both frames.

In the fifth, Klusman beat out a two-out infield single and advanced to third on a Matt McGee (Forest Hill, Md./John Carroll) base hit. The inning ended when Andres Valbuena (Miami, Fla./Doral Academy) grounded out.

Richard Joa (Matawan, N.J./Matawan Regional)—who was 2-for-2—led off the sixth with a walk. He moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and made his way to third on a wild pitch. Quaranta made his way into scoring position as he earned a walk and went to second on another wild pitch. With two chances to tie the score, Wells and Michael Melendez (Lansdale, Pa./Christopher Dock) struck out.

Chuck Delagoi earned the win as he gave the Wildcats a five-strikeout performance in 5.1 innings. Hyatt picked up his second save of the day, third of the year, with a scoreless seventh.

Philadelphia gets right back to work on Tuesday, March 21 against West Chester University in the first round of the Bill Giles Tournament at Father Judge High School. First pitch is scheduled for noon.