WATERBURY, Conn. (May 13, 2018) -- Wilmington University won twice on Sunday over Felician University to capture the 2018 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Championship at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn. WilmU won game one in 10 innings, 2-0, to force the "if necessary" game and then followed it up with an 8-3 triumph in game two to win the program's first conference crown since 2015.
With the win, Wilmington improved to 34-19 overall and won the program's seventh CACC Championship. The Wildcats also locked up the CACC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament, which will be staged next week at a site to be determined. The NCAA will announce the brackets for the regional on Sunday night at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com(.)
Wilmington's two wins on Sunday over the Golden Falcons came after the Wildcats dropped the first five meetings between the teams this season, including a 6-1 setback Friday on day two of the tournament.
GAME 6: WILMINGTON 2, FELICIAN 0 (10 inns.) l Boxscore
Brooks Ryan smacked a two-out, two-run triple in the top of the 10th inning to lift the Wildcats to the day's first win. Ryan drove the ball to the wall in right field, bringing Christian Adorno and Nick Grant home on the play. Adorno led off the inning with a base hit, while Grant drew an intentional walk before Ryan delivered the game-winning hit. Ryan's heroics came after he had struggled at the plate earlier the game by going hitless in his first four at-bats.
Justin Mears had come on in relief of starter Chuck Delagol and worked the final two innings to earn the win. He yielded just one hit over the two innings to cap the victory. Delagol was sensational in his outing, as he scattered four hits over eight innings of work despite earning a no-decision. Delagol and Mears combined to hold Felician to four singles over their five hits, with the only extra-base knock being a triple from Danny Healy Jr.
Both sides worked out of several jams during the first game as the contest went to extras scoreless. Both had a runner thrown out at home on terrific outfield or relay throws.
Jacob Nappi started on the mound and worked a solid five-plus innings, yielding just five hits and striking out six with just two walks. Michael Gutierrez pitched the final 3.1 innings and was tagged with the loss after giving up Ryan's winning hit. Despite that, Gutierrez was strong over his first 2.1 innings by limiting WilmU to just one hit.
GAME 7: WILMINGTON 8, FELICIAN 3 l Boxscore
The momentum from the first win carried over into the day's second game, as Wilmington scored twice in the third and blew the game open with five runs in the sixth to make it 7-0.
Nick Grant, who was outstanding at the plate and in the field prior to this contest, came on to start on the mound for WilmU in the second affair and he locked up most valuable player honors for the championship with a two-run, five-hit effort with six strikeouts over seven innings of work. He walked just one batter and threw 86 pitches to improve to 5-1 on the season.
Christian Adorno doubled, drove in three runs and scored another as well. Kendall Small went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, while Frank Nigro and Kyle Fries added a pair of hits and an RBI apiece. Fries also came around to score two runs.
Jason Aponte was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for Felician. Will Kazura got the start for the Golden Falcons and suffered the loss by yielding two runs -- zero earned -- on five hits over 4.0 innings of work.
2018 CACC BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Justin Decker (Dominican College)
Nick Arnold (Post University)
Rosario Missitti (Post University)
Rob Naughton (Felician University)
Rahul Prince (Felician University)
Michael Gutierrez (Felician University)
Nick Grant (Wilmington University)
Dakota Graham (Wilmington University)
Kendall Small (Wilmington University)
Brad Scull (Wilmington University)
Chuck Delagol (Wilmington University)
MVP: Nick Grant
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.