FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Wilmington College baseball team did something on Monday it hasn’t done this decade – score more than 20 runs in a game.
The Fightin’ Quakers thrashed Lakeland College 29-5 in the first of two games then fell to Skidmore College 15-6 in the second game of the day.
Game one did not start well for Wilmington as the first two Muskies reached base via hits, and a groundout to starting pitcher Joey Hollback forced the junior to exit the game. Alec Robinette entered the game and induced a flyout and WC centerfielder Josh Chua was on target with this throw to catcher Kasey Bottorff to nail the runner attempting to score from third base.
“Momentum is everything,” WC head coach Dan Cleaver said. “They [Lakeland] had a couple runners on and we were into out bullpen. Josh [Chua] threw an absolute rocket on one bounce to home plate to tag their guy out. It changed the whole momentum of the game.”
Wilmington used the momentum of the defensive play to spark its offense as the Quakers sent 14 runners to the plate in the first inning. Chua, Shale Hale and Luke Kleindl all had RBI-doubles. Gage Bley had a sacrifice fly and Nick Silvis drew a bases loaded walk. In total, Wilmington scored 10 runs on four hits and two Lakeland errors.
WC scored two runs in the second and seven more in the third with Daniel Hayes and Hale picking up RBIs. The Quakers batted around in the fifth, plating nine runs on eight hits.
Robinette picked up the victory allowing one earned run with two strikeouts in three-plus innings. Jacob Courtney also pitched effectively, striking out three while allowing no runs in 3.1 innings.
Wilmington tallied 18 hits offensively and a staggering 24 RBIs. Every starter recoded a hit including a 4-for-6 game from Chua and a 3-for-5 game from Hyatt. Silvis, Kleindl and Bottorff also had multi-hit games.
“We started swinging the bats at pitches on the corners,” Cleaver said of his team’s offensive effort against Lakeland. “We have been looking for too many pitches that are just perfect. Good college pitchers will hit the corners.”
In game two, the Thoroughbreds scored a run in the first and three in the fourth. The Quakers scored a run in both the third and fourth innings without a base hit, but left the bases loaded in each of the first four innings. Skidmore, leading 6-2 after four complete innings, put together four hits and scored five runs including fueled by a three-run home run.
Wilmington battled back with three runs on three hits in the bottom half of the fifth getting RBI hits from Chua and Hyatt. Joey Allinder’s inside-the-park home run in the seventh kept the Quakers within striking distance 11-6.
The Thoroughbreds scored four runs in the ninth to seal the victory.
Silvis was 3-for-5 in the lead-off spot. Kyle Short added two hits. Hyatt finished with two RBIs. The Quakers left a total of 20 runners on base.