Baseball ‘Cats start season 0-3 in Florida

WINTER HAVEN, Fla.– The West Virginia Wesleyan (0-3) baseball team kicked off their season on Saturday with a doubleheader against the Findlay Oilers (4-10). WVWC dropped both games, losing the first 11-3 and the second 4-2.

Then on Sunday, big innings plagued Wesleyan as 10 of the Lewis Flyers (1-5) 11 runs came in two innings. Adrian Delgado hit his first home run of the season in the 11-7 loss.
Saturday (Game One)
The Bobcats used timely hitting to get on the board first. After a Geovani Sostre hard liner doubled up a pair of Bobcats, Delgado started a two-out rally by hitting a single up the middle. Devin Johnson followed suit, hitting a single of his own to the left side. After Johnson advanced to second on the throw, Noah Birthisel stepped up to the plate with runners on second and third and delivered a two rbi single to right to give the ‘Cats the 2-0 advantage.
Walks and timely hitting plagued the Bobcat defense as the Oilers plated four runs in consecutive innings to start the game. WVWC found themselves trailing 8-2 after just two innings. 
Eli Brogan would make his first collegiate appearance after replacing starter Alec Tamburri in the second. Brogan retired six consecutive Oilers in 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in his collegiate debut.
In the fourth, Leo White led the inning off with a single to left, Hunter Eplin followed him up with a double to left-center, but the Bobcats could not push any across in the inning.
WVWC found themselves with a runner in scoring position in the fifth when Ingram reach third on an errant throw after a gorgeous bunt single. The Bobcats would take advantage after Sostre roped a double to left to score Ingram.
Robbie Baker tossed a scoreless inning of relief in the 6th, but the Bobcats couldn’t come up with anything else and dropped game one 11-3.
Saturday (Game Two)
WVWC got on the board first again in game two. Ingram swiped second after his lead-off single, and two batters later crossed the plate on a Johnson double to right-field. The Oilers would score an unearned run off starting pitcher Anthony Napoleon in the second, but Napoleon would minimize the damage.
The Bobcats got the bats going with two outs in the fourth as Nick Corwell singled to left. The Bobcats had runners on the corners after a Leo White single to left-center but could scratch one across.
The Oilers got to Napoleon in the fifth as they chased him out of the game and pushed three runs across to take a 4-1 lead. Napoleon was credited with the loss in game two, but the crafty lefty showed poise on the hill in his 4.1 innings of work.
Luke White and Brad Miller stifled the Oiler offense the rest of the way, throwing 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
WVWC had the bases loaded with nobody out after Martin Radosevic single through the right side to start the inning. Corwell and Leo White both walked to fill up the base paths. After the Oiler reliever sent back-to-back Bobcats down on strikes, Dylan Poplin singled to the shortstop to push across the Orange & Blacks second run.
The Bobcats threatened in the bottom of the seventh but did not score.


The Orange & Black continued their fast starts as they would again score in the first inning. Geovani Sostre singled to right-center to start things off. The next batter, Delgado, would score him as he deposited a full-count offering over the left-field fence to give WVWC a 2-0 advantage.
Lewis would regain the lead in the bottom half of the fourth when they plated five runs, four by way of a grand slam.
The Orange & Black would not wait long as they responded with four in the top of the fifth. Sostre started the inning with a single to left, followed by a Delgado four-pitch walk. Then, after Noah Birthisel walked on four pitches, the bags were filled for Leo White. White drew a full-count walk to make it 5-3 flyers with nobody out in the inning.
After a Flyer pitching change, Thatcher Poteat and Hunter Eplin delivered singles to the outfield to give WVWC a 6-5 lead.
After Lewis tied the game at six in the bottom of the fifth, WVWC would again retake the lead in the top of the sixth. Birthisel worked a two-out walk and would take advantage of two wide pitches to work his way around the bases and score the go-ahead run without a ball being put in play.
The Flyers would take control of the game in the eighth as they would again plate five unearned runs to take an 11-7 lead.
AJ Ventry got the start on the hill for the Bobcats, making his collegiate debut. The freshman threw three scoreless frames before he could not get out of trouble in the fourth. He was tagged for three earned runs on three hits. Jake Mauzy was credited with the loss, throwing 4.1 innings. Mauzy was credited with eight runs, while only two were earned.
Up Next
The Orange & Black are right back at it Monday with a night game against St. Cloud State. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Chain of Lakes Stadium.

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