By Joe Thiel
The Golden Bears defeated the Wildcats of Wilmington by a score of 6-2 on a windy Wednesday afternoon at the north campus field. The win brought KU’s record to 15-17 while the Wildcats fell to a disappointing mark of 6-15.
Wilmington started the scoring early in the first inning when shortstop Christian Adorno hit a two-out single up the middle, scoring Julian Kurych. KU soon settled into the game and rattled off six unanswered runs.
Designated hitter Kyle Rogers led off the bottom of the second inning with a solo homerun just inside the left foul pole to tie the game at one.
KU’s bullpen shut down the Wildcats’ offense after relieving starter, Peter Masterson, in the third inning. The bullpen had six consecutive shutout innings until second basemen Max Carney brought in a run in the ninth inning off of a groundout.
The scoring continued for KU in the bottom of the third inning when a sacrifice bunt by third basemen Mike Milazzo brought home shortstop Bo Rottet.
Later in the same inning, Rogers drove in another run by singling up the middle and bringing home Zach Schram from second base.
The game’s pitching seemed to pick up as the windy conditions became more apparent in the later innings.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, pinch hitter Brady McNab busted the game wide open for KU with a bases-clearing double.
From that point on, it seemed as if KU was going to coast to a 6-1 victory shutting down the Wilmington batters in the seventh and eighth innings. However, things got a bit more interesting in the top of the ninth.
Kyle Fries of Wilmington started out the final inning with a double down the right line and then two groundouts brought him home, raising the score to 6-2. Kurych and Dan Hyatt walked to keep the game alive with two outs and Adorno followed them with a single to load the bases.
With the tying run at the plate, KU closer Ryan Clow was able to fool left fielder, Rocky Ferrier, into swinging at an off-speed pitch and flying out to center field to end the game at 6-2.