NEW CASTLE, Del. – The University of the Sciences baseball team scored five runs in its final at-bat to storm back and shock No. 24 Wilmington in a doubleheader sweep of the nationally-ranked Wildcats at Wilson Field on Wednesday afternoon.
After holding on for a 4-3 win in game one, the Devils rallied for the 7-5 triumph in the nightcap of the two teams' Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) opener.
USciences extends its win streak to five games, its longest in the last nine seasons.
Trailing 5-2 entering the seventh inning of game two, AJ Pena began the rally with a single.
Nate Steele then singled to make it a one-run game, and an error on the next play allowed the tying run to come home.
After a wild pitch and the second out, it was Ryan Johnson who came through with the game-winning two-RBI single.
He then returned to the mound, working around the first two batters reaching to strand runners on second and third to complete the comeback.
Johnson's game-winning single capped a day in which he finished 5-for-8 at the plate with three RBI, two doubles, a hit by pitch and a run. The junior recorded his first career three-hit game in game one.
He also picked up his first win of the season, throwing two scoreless frames with two strikeouts.
McClennen reached base four times in both games, finishing 4-for-5 with four walks, two runs and two RBI. He recorded his second three-hit game of the year in the opener, before reaching base in all four at-bats in the nightcap thanks to three base on balls.
Duffy also reached base in all four of his at-bats in game two, finishing a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.
Andrew Szpindor picked up the win in game one after throwing the first 5.1 innings, allowing two earned on five hits to exit the game with a 3-2 advantage.
After relievers Austin Blumetti and Jake Patridge combined to hold on to that lead, Kris Morgenweck came in to close the door with his first career save, working around an error to end the game on a double play.
In addition to going 3-for-4 with a walk, McClennen played a part in all three of USciences' scoring innings, beginning with the top of the first. After singling with two outs to keep the frame alive, he came in to score on a failed pickoff attempt for the afternoon's first run.
His bases loaded walk then capped a two-run frame to make the score 3-2 in the top of the sixth, and he drove in the eventual game-winning run in the eighth with a two-out single that scored Pena, who had led off with a single.
After recording his first career multi-hit game the last time out, Johnson logged his first career three-hit game in the opener, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles, a run and an RBI.
His RBI double after Brian Magee's leadoff walk in the sixth tied the score at 2-2, and he would come into the score the go-ahead run McClennen's base on balls.
It looked like University of the Sciences might strike in the first inning again after loading the bases with zero outs in the nightcap, but Wilmington got out of it and carried that momentum into its at-bat with a three-run first.
USciences did cut the deficit to one with a two-run third after a Pena leadoff walk, Duffy RBI triple and Justin Skinner sacrifice fly made it a one-run game, but the Devils left a runner in scoring position later on in the inning before stranding the bases loaded in the fourth.
After stranding another runner in scoring position in the top of the fifth, Wilmington finally reestablished a multi-run lead with a two-run bottom-half for its second three-run lead of game two.
University of the Sciences and Wilmington conclude their four-game series with a 12 p.m. doubleheader this Friday at Richie Ashburn Field.