ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. - Wesley College's Greg McKee (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) had three hits, but it was a spectacular defensive play with the bases loaded in the ninth inning that preserved a 4-3 over St. Mary's (Md.), Head Coach Tripp Keister's 100th win in the Wolverines' dugout.
Wesley (20-12-1, 9-7 CAC) led 4-1 heading into the final inning, before the Seahawks' (13-14, 7-9 CAC) rallied. A walk and a hit batter put Seahawks on first and second with no one out. After a fielder's choice and a pop up made two outs, J.P. Debrowski became the second St. Mary's player to reach on a hit by pitch to load the bases. Mark Dattilo followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield cut the lead to 4-2 and kept the bases loaded. It appeared the Wolverines had the game won when Blake Beaudoin struck out swining, but the ball got away to bring home another run.
The next batter, Brad Shepard sent a grounder up the middle. McKee went to his left dove and flipped the ball backhanded to second base for the force to end the game.
The dramatic finish overshadowed strong outing from Wesley starting pitcher Matt Faulkner (Milford, Del./Milford). The freshman limited the Seahawks to just one run over seven innings, scattering six hits and four walks for his second win of 2009.
The Wolverines scored all four of their runs in the first three innings. In the first, Kevin Murphy (Middletown, Md./Middletown), Grant Morlock (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) and Geoff Kimmel (Lawrenceville, N.J./Lawrence) had consecutive singles to put Wesley ahead 1-0.
Murphy singled home McKee in the second to make it 2-0 before the Wolverines doubled the lead in the third. One run scored on a double play ball up the middle with the bases loaded and no one out and McKee drove in Scott Marshall (Jackson, N.J./Jackson Memorial) for Wesley's final run of the day.
Dattilo drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning and neither team scored again until the bottom of the ninth.
Marshall joined McKee with a three hit afternoon. Murphy and Alex Carter (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) had two hits each as the Wolverines tallied 13 hits in the game.
Jacen Killebrew, Bobby Corton and Dattilo combined for six of the Seahawks nine hits on the day.
The win lifted Keister to 100 career victories for Wesley and gives him a 100-60-1 record with the Wolverines in his fourth season. He has 145 total coaching wins after winning 45 at Delaware State in 1999 and 2000.
Wesley handed St. Mary's starter Jon Gill his sixth loss of the season, scoring four times on nine hits and walk in his three innings of work.
The two teams are back in action on Saturday, April 11 with a doubleheader at Wesley's Bob Reed Field at 1:00 PM.