CARBONDALE, Illinois - The Wilmington College baseball team concludes its opening weekend by dropping a close 2-1 decision to Blackburn College (Illinois) on Sunday afternoon.
After neither team threatened in the first inning, both squads got runners on second and third in the second inning only to have the threats ended by groundouts. The Fightin' Quakers got the lead-off runner on via single in three consecutive innings (3-5), but fell victim to a pick-off in the third and double plays in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Beavers made them pay in the bottom of the fifth inning as, after a caught stealing, Nolan Rooney singled and stole second. A groundout to third base got Wilmington one out away from ending the inning, but a single from Christian Padilla plated the game's first run.
Leading 1-0, Blackburn chased Wilmington starter Luke Kleindl in the sixth after another single and stolen base led to a second RBI-single in as many innings. Matt Oney came in relief and minimized the damage, getting out of a two-on, one-out jam thanks to a fielder's choice and a strikeout looking. Yet another double play ended Wilmington's seventh, but the Quakers, trailing 2-0, mounted a two-out rally in the top of the ninth. Caleb Scott singled and Kleindl, who had moved to designated hitter in the sixth, doubled to right center plating Scott. Unfortunately for Wilmington, a groundout to second base ended the game.
Tyler Jackson earned the complete-game victory, striking out eight and allowing eight hits with one earned run. Kleindl took the loss allowing eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks in 5.1 innings pitched. Oney pitched effectively in relief, allowing just one hit in the final 2.2 innings.
Offensively, Scott and Kleindl both had two hits for Wilmington, but the Quakers could not overcome hitting into five double plays. Three Beavers - Padilla, Jackson and Adam Holm - record multi-hit games.
Wilmington (0-3) hosts Elmhurst College (Illinois) for a doubleheader on Saturday.