DOVER, Del. – Wesley College's baseball team rallied for a pair of runs in the ninth inning but fell short with Eastern University defeating the Wolverines, 6-5, on Monday afternoon at Bob Reed Field. The loss drops Wesley to 1-5 on the year while the Eagles move to 1-7.
After falling behind, 1-0 after Eastern's first at bat, things started looking up for Wesley as it tagged the Eagles for three runs. Eric Speidel opened the game by reaching on a three-base error by the right fielder and came home as Hunter followed with a single up the middle. Cory Smith was then hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a wild pitch before Mears' sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Hunter. Smith touched home for the third run on Domian's RBI single in the hole at short.
Eastern responded for a run in the second and tied the score with another in the fourth before taking the lead in the sixth off of reliever Taylor Reynolds. Brett McCulley relieved Reynolds with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth and got out of the frame with no additional harm as Mears threw out a batter at home trying to score from third to end the inning.
McCulley tossed three scoreless innings without allowing a hit and striking out two but the Eagles added a pair of runs off Rob Mills in the ninth to take a 6-3 lead.
Wesley made things interesting with a two-out rally in its final at-bat as Speidel was drilled by a pitch followed by a bloop double by Hunter down the left field line. Smith then lined a shot to right field which was dropped by the right fielder, allowing Speidel and Hunter to score. Mears followed up with a single to put the go-ahead run on first base but Eastern retired the side to earn the victory.
Reynolds was charged with the loss for the Navy & White, allowing two earned runs in 2.0 innings. Starting pitcher Connor Springsteen pitched the first three innings and allowed just one earned run in the no-decision.
Mike McCracken got the win in relief for Eastern, pitching two scoreless innings while fanning one. Josh Freed earned the save by fanning two batters and allowing two unearned runs.
Wesley returns to the diamond on Wednesday, March 18 when it makes the short trek to Washington College for a 3:30 pm start.