Wheeling sets new single-season wins record against Notre Dame
WHEELING, W.Va. (April 25) - The Wheeling University baseball team won both games against Notre Dame College Saturday to open its Mountain East Conference (MEC) series. Wheeling held on for a 6-5 win in game one, before cruising to a 14-3 victory in game two.
The wins improve the Cardinals to 21-8 overall, 17-5 in MEC play, and break the school's single-season wins record of 19 set by both the 2010 and 2012 teams. Wheeling has never had a team finish above .500 in the baseball program's 16-year history.
Meanwhile, the Falcons fall to 12-18 overall, 9-13 in the MEC.
Wheeling led 3-1 in the sixth inning. Notre Dame loaded the bases with one out, but senior relief pitcher Nick Luciano (Apollo, Pa./Kiski Area) shut the door with a pair of strikeouts to escape the jam.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Cardinals got back-to-back home runs from senior Luis Dominguez (Bronx, N.Y./Cardinal Spellman) and junior Chris Iazzetta (Clinton, N.J./IMG Academy) to make the score 5-1. The Cards tacked on a third run with the second sacrifice fly of the game by senior Bryen Kimbrough (Southhampton, Pa./Pennsbury) to open up a 6-1 lead.
Notre Dame managed plate three runs in the top of the seventh inning and still had the bases loaded with one out. After a strikeout and a bases loaded walk made the score 6-5, Cardinal junior closer Albert Baez (Fort Worth, Texas/Timber Creek) got the next batter to pop up to first base to end the game.
Junior pitcher Jared Naida (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) improved to 4-0 on the season. He limited the Falcons to one run on five hits with four strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work. Baez came on to earn his school-record sixth save this season.
Iazzetta, the reigning NCBWA Division II Hitter of the Week, finished with a home run, double and one RBI. The home run was his sixth of the season which sets a new Cardinal single-season record.
Wheeling broke out the bats for 12 hits in a 14-3 game two win.
The Cardinals plated two in the first, six in the second and another six-spot in the sixth to earn the win.
Eight Cardinals connected on hits, with the ninth batter reaching base in all four at bats.
Sophomore Jacob Murray (Beallsville, Ohio/Linsly) led the team with a home run, four RBIs and a run scored. Junior Jack Skantze (Clearwater, Fla./Countryside) had two hits, including a triple, with three RBIs, while Iazzetta added a double and three RBIs.
Junior pitcher Logan Pillars (Rock Falls, Ill./Rock Falls) went 6.0 innings and yielded just three runs on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Junior Blake Vandiver (Alton, Ill./Roxana) drew two walks, was hit-by-pitch twice and scored three runs in his four plate appearances.
The Cardinals will go for the series sweep tomorrow, Monday, April 26 for another doubleheader against the Falcons starting at 1 p.m.