WILMINGTON — Some good hitting by Wilmington Charter and a few bad hops helped the Force take a 4-1 lead on Archmere in the teams’ Diamond State Athletic Conference matchup on May 13. But the Auks scored four runs in the final four innings while holding the Force scoreless for a 5-4 victory.
Archmere’s comeback began in the fourth inning, when they scored twice. Leonard Albanese and Matt Dellose singled with one out, and when Dellose’s hit skipped through the right fielder, Albanese took third. The throw to the infield entered the Charter dugout, allowing Albanese to score and Dellose to move to third. Dellose came home on a groundout by Matt Puppio.
Force starter Daniel Song got through the Auks in the fifth, but Archmere got its offense in gear again in the sixth. Nick Zhu doubled off the left-center field fence with one out. He moved to third on an infield single and came home on a fielder’s choice RBI off the bat of Puppio.
Auks starting pitcher Matt Benson retired the Force in order in the sixth, setting the stage for the completion of his team’s comeback. Erik Risnychok singled to center, and when the ball bounced through the centerfielder, the runner went all the way to third before slamming on the brakes about a third of the way to home. Allan Mousley followed with a single to left, allowing Albanese to come home.
Benson came out for the seventh inning and got a groundout and fly ball to center wrapped around a walk to the Force’s Brady Harach. Auks coach Nick Sanna brought in his closer, Mike Mallamaci, and he retired Kevin Callahan on a fly ball to Albanese in center for the final out. Callahan had three singles prior to that final at bat.
The Auks had taken a 1-0 lead in their first at bat on a single by Mousley, who stole two bases and scored on a double by Dan Storm that nearly left the park. Charter responded with three of their own in the first. Justin Terranova singled and stole second, scoring on a base hit by Callahan, the next batter. Benjamin Cartwright then singled to right to drive in a run, and when the ball hopped by the fielder, Cartwright advanced to third. He scored on a groundout by Cameron Starr.
In the third, Callahan led off with a single and stole second. Starr picked up another RBI two batters later with a single.
Unofficially, Benson allowed eight hits and walked one in 6.2 innings while striking out five. Albanese had three hits and scored a run, and Mousley also reached three times with a run scored and an RBI. The Auks improved to 11-5) and host Concord in the regular-season finale on Saturday morning at 11.
For Charter, Callahan had three hits, two runs scored and a run batted in. Song went the distance, giving up 10 hits and striking out four. The Force (9-7) close out the regular season on Saturday at Salesianum at 1 p.m.
All photos by Mike Lang.