Late Wilmington Rally Sinks Baseball, 3-2

Little Falls, NJ (4/15/08) – Senior outfielder Brian Testa (Wilmington, DE / St. Elizabeth’s) singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the ninth as Wilmington College scored in each of its final two at bats for a 3-2 victory over Montclair State in an NCAA baseball contest at Yogi Berra Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.

Freshman Drew Anusky (National Park, NJ / Gloucester Catholic) belted a solo home run in the eighth and also picked up the win in relief as the Wildcats moved a game above the .500 mark at 16-15 with their eighth straight win.

Senior catcher Jeff Miller ( Wyckoff, NJ / Ramapo) was 3-for-5 and drove in both runs for the Red Hawks, who fell to 14-11 on the year.

The Wildcats were held to just four hits through the first 7 2/3 innings, and trailed 2-1 when Anusky stepped to the plate and tied the contest at with one swing of the bat as he connected for his second home run of the year – a line shot over the left field fence. Montclair State would nearly answer that in the bottom of the inning as the Red Hawks loaded the bases with one out on singles by Rob Bowness (Sparta, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) and Andrew Himmelfarb (Nyack, NY / Nyack) while Rob Clark (Livingston, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) was hit by a pitch. But Anusky, who had entered the game in the seventh, induced a third-to-home-to-first double play to escape the threat and set up the Wildcats winning rally.

Joe Roth (Bear, DE / Glasgow) led off the ninth with a single and was sacrificed to second for the first out. Roth would move to third on a wild pitch, and after a strikeout, Testa fell behind in the count 0-2 before line a single through the left side of the infield, scoring Roth with the go-ahead run.

Sophomore righthander Phil Aviola (Newark, DE / St. Mark’s) came on in the ninth and allowed a two-out single to Miller before getting a ground out to preserve the win for Wilmington. It was Aviola’s first save of the year.

Runs would be difficult to come by as MSU starter D. J. Cunningham ( Florham Park, NJ / Hanover Park) gave up just four hits and struck out eight through the first 6 2/3 innings. Cunningham, who received a no-decision, walked two and gave up a run in the fourth as Anusky singled with one out and went to third on Matt Umba’s (Woodbury, NJ / Gloucester Catholic) base hit. Roth bounced into a fielder’s choice plating Anusky with the first run.

In the fifth, MSU took the lead as Michael Nunes (Hazlet, NJ / Raritan) singled to center with two outs and stole second before a walk was issued to Lou Politan (Livingston, NJ / Livingston). Miller then roped a double to left-center scoring both runners to give the Red Hawks a 2-1 advantage. MSU would threaten in the seventh as Kevin Cuozzi ( Langhorne, PA / Neshaminy) and Nunes each singled with one out and Politan was hit by a pitch to load the bases. But Anusky (2-1) escaped that jam with a pop out and ground out to keep the game at a run.

Nunes and Himmelfarb each had two hits for MSU, which out-hit Wilmington, 11-7. Umba had two hits for the Wildcats. Tim Stringer ( Annandale, NJ / North Hunterdon) took the loss for MSU falling to 2-4.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday, April 16 with road contests. Montclair State makes the trek to Troy, NY to face #10/#12 Rensselaer at 3:30 pm.