Baseball Completes Sweep on Wild Day at Wilson
Trevor Candelaria didn’t think his 11th-inning fly ball had much of a chance to leave Wilson Field.
Well, not on a normal day anyway.
“On another day, I think the center fielder could’ve caught that without taking a step,” he said. “But that’s how it was all game.”
Sunday wasn’t like most days at the picturesque park, and Candelaria’s fly ball carried out for a walk-off two-run home run in a 16-14 Davidson win. The Wildcats improved to 4-2 and completed the series sweep after taking both games of a Saturday doubleheader.
Sunday’s game lasted four hours and 22 minutes and included nine home runs — five by the Wildcats — and a 2-3-6 triple play turned by the Davidson defense in the 10th inning. And it’s a day that included winds of nine to 13 miles per hour and gusts up to 23 — blowing out.
“You get 20 or 30 feet up there, it was just a jet stream,” said Candelaria, who found himself backpedaling a lot while patrolling right field. “Everything in the air was carrying. I’ve never seen Wilson play like that.”
Twice, the Wildcats were down to their final out, and twice they tied the game with a two-run home run. Ruben Fontes’ shot into the trees beyond right field tied it at 12-all in the bottom of the ninth. Joe Haney’s pinch-hit homer in the 10th tied it at 14-14 on the freshman’s first college hit. That set the stage for Candelaria, whose blast capped an eventful weekend that saw the Wildcats hit nine home runs. He drove in Alex Fedje-Johnson, who reached by hustling out an infield hit on a grounder between the mound and first base.
“We never gave up,” said Candelaria. “We wanted to win and believed we could.”
Henry Koehler’s first college home run came in the first inning and tied the game at 2-all, after Toledo homered twice in the top half. In the third, Jacob Hinderleider doubled in two runs, and Koehler singled in another. The fifth included a Fedje-Johnson sacrifice fly to make it 8-3. Ryan Wilson had an RBI-double in the seventh, that made it 9-6.
But by the time John Hosmer came to the plate with two outs in the eighth, the Wildcats were trailing 10-9. His third homer of the weekend to left was a two-run shot and appeared to have the makings of a storybook ending. But the game was far from over.
In the top of the ninth, Toledo’s Chris Meyers homered for the second time Sunday, and the Rockets were threatening to add more runs before the triple play got the Wildcats out of it.
Jake Biederman came on in relief to face Danny O’Reilly, and O’Reilly hit a tapper right in front of home plate. Catcher Garrett Browder fielded it, stepped on home plate and fired to Wilson at first for another force play. Wilson then turned and threw to Fedje-Johnson at second, and he raced to tag John Servello, and did so by diving at him as Servello tried to get back to first.