WATERBURY, Conn. (May 11, 2019) -- The bats came alive for Wilmington University on Saturday, and by doing so, the Wildcats claimed the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Baseball Championship with a 14-8 victory over Dominican College at Municipal Stadium in Waterbury, Conn. The No. 2 seed from the South, WilmU pounded out 15 hits en route to winning the conference title for the second-straight year.
It marks the first time WilmU has won consecutive CACC Baseball titles since the the program ran off three-straight crowns from 2011-13. It also marks the eighth conference title for the program under Brian August since 2005.
With the win, the Wildcats earn the CACC's automatic bid into the NCAA Division II East Regional Tournament and await their fate with the NCAA Selection Show scheduled for Sunday night at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com(.)
The Wildcats led the conference in hitting all season long, and needed the bats more than ever in Saturday's championship game. They trailed at multiple points throughout the day, including 2-0, 4-1, and 7-5, before scoring nine runs in their final four at-bats to claim the trophy.
CACC Tournament MVP Max Carney put the Wildcats on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the second, and then gave the home team a 5-4 lead with a two-run single in the bottom of the third. But Dominican answered right back with a three-run top of the fourth, and carried its 7-5 lead into the bottom of the fifth. Brian Sanders singled home a run during the frame, while Justin Decker drove in a pair with a double down the left-field line.
But that is when the Wildcats' bats took off, as Kendall Small reached by getting hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the fourth inning. CACC Player of the Year Eddie Nevins then tripled to chase home Small before Luke Johnson singled to score Nevins and tie the game, 7-7. Now with two outs in the inning, the Wildcats executed a first and third double steal to take the lead before Brett Nowell singled into right field to score Carney for the 9-7 advantage.
The Chargers tacked on a run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth to pull within 9-8, as Decker's fly out brought home Sanders. However, the Wildcats finished out the game with five unanswered runs to take the championship. Nevins had an RBI ground out before Luke Johnson made it 11-8 with an RBI single. Dakota Graham then hit a double to the gap in right center for two more runs in the seventh before Brooks Ryan capped the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth for the 14-8 lead.
Starting pitcher Dan Hyatt didn't have his typical start, but went five and struck out three while allowing seven runs (six earned) on nine hits to improve to 9-1 on the year. Danny Sullivan tossed 2.1 innings while only allowing one unearned runs before Zach Frederick came on and finished off the eighth. Kendall Small then struck out a pair in the ninth, including the championship out to spark the dog pile.
Max Carney went 4-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored while Luke Johnson went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. Dakota Graham, Eddie Nevins, and Brooks Ryan each had two hits as well, with Nevins collecting four RBI.
2019 CACC BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Timothy Brodhag (Jefferson)
Tyree Bradley (Bloomfield)
Wilfrido Valenzuela (Bloomfield)
Justin Decker (Dominican)
Jaden Diaz-Lambert (Dominican)
John-Michael Broderick (Dominican)
Zach Frederick (Wilmington)
Max Carney (Wilmington)
Luke Johnson (Wilmington)
Kendall Small (Wilmington)
Eddie Nevins (Wilmington)
MVP: Max Carney (Wilmington)
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.