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Baseball Sweeps St. Michael's With Walk-Off Win in 14 Innings

Photo by Kevin Greene
Photo by Kevin Greene


FORT MYERS, Florida - The Wilmington College baseball team swept a doubleheader with St. Michael's College (Vermont) on Tuesday, winning game one 4-0 and the 14-inning game two 4-3 in walk-off fashion.

In game one, Jared Ferenchak earned his first win of the season, pitching a complete-game shutout in seven innings. The junior scattered six hits and tallied four strikeouts compared to no walks.

"The most fun I have calling pitches is when Jared [Ferenchak] is on the mound," Head Baseball Coach Dan Cleaver said. "I think he missed three pitches the entire game. When he's on the mound, we have a great chance to win."

Nick Silvis opened the game with a single, but after being bunted over to second by David Poynter, a flyout and strikeout stranded Silvis in scoring position. Neither team scored in the second inning, but Purple Knights' error sparked the Fightin' Quakers' offense in the third.

After Kasey Bottorff got on base with the error, Daniel Hayes advanced Bottorff to third with a single and Silvis, with his second base hit of the game, drove in the game's first run. Another sacrifice bunt from Poynter put runners at second and third with one out, and an RBI-groundout from Josh Chua doubled Wilmington's lead.

A Kyle Short double gave the Quakers a 3-0 lead after four innings, but St. Michael's looked to tie the game as the first two Purple Knights hit singles in the bottom of the sixth. Ferenchak was up the task as he induced a pop out, flyout and groundout to get out of the inning unscathed.

Consecutive errors from St. Michael's shortstop scored Wilmington's last run in the top of the seventh.

Wilmington tallied eight hits as a team in game one including a 3-for-4 performance from Silvis at the top of the order. Short finished 2-for-4 with an RBI while Chua and an RBI, a run scored and two walks despite not recording a hit.

St. Michael's finished with six hits including a 2-for-3 game from lead-off hitter, Connor Hopkins.

In game two, Wilmington got on the board in the first inning on a double from Silvis and an RBI-single from Gage Bley. St. Michael's tied the game 1-1 on an RBI-double in the second and took the lead with sacrifice flies right field in both the third and fifth innings.

Trailing 3-2, the Quakers got a run back in the seventh on three consecutive singles including an RBI-single from Bley. Wilmington failed to score in the eighth but rallied to tie it 3-3 in the ninth. Daniel Hayes drew a walk and advanced to third on a single from Bley. Chua hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field scoring Hayes.

Luke Kleindl followed up the game-tying hit with a single that advanced Bley to third base. Unfortunately for the Quakers, a strikeout stranded the game-winning run 90 feet from home plate.

Both offenses went cold as game two entered extra innings. Nobody from either team would reach base for three innings until a Purple Knight was hit by a pitch to lead-off the top of the 13th. Alec Robinette, who entered the game in the 11th, stranded the go-ahead run at second base.

Wilmington would not get a runner on base in extra innings until the bottom of the 14th inning when Daniel Hayes led off the frame with a bunt single. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Chua delivered a walk-off single to give the Quakers the doubleheader sweep.

"Daniel [Hayes] laid down an almost-perfect bunt," said Cleaver. "Once you get that first runner on in that extra innings and you're the home team, you really have a shot at winning."

Robinette picked up his second victory in relief this week as he pitched four innings with four strikeouts and the one hit batter. Lance Fleischman bridged the gap between starter Joey Hollback and Robinette, allowed just two hits and no earned runs in 5.1 innings of work.

"[Lance] Fleischman and [Alec] Robinette were out of this world today," Cleaver said. "They held it all together and kept it close when we were down."

Wilmington tallied a dozen hits in game two including a 4-for-7 performance with two RBIs from Bley. Silivis, Chua and Daniel Hayes also had two hits.

The Quakers, who are an even 5-5, face the United State Coast Guard Academy in a single game tomorrow (Wednesday) to conclude the 2018 spring trip to Florida.