WILMINGTON — The Archmere baseball team was looking for its 10th win in a row when it traveled to Salesianum on May 11, but Salesianum defended its home turf with a come-from-behind 8-7 victory. The Sals erased a three-run deficit, and Brian Lang hit a walkoff double in the bottom of the seventh to give them the win over the eighth-ranked Auks.
The Sals’ first big hit of the seventh was a double by Ben Venema. He moved to third, and with one out, Lang sent a full-count pitch over the head of the drawn-in outfielder in center to end the game. It ended a game full of twists and turns.
The Auks struck first in the top of the first with two infield singles by Allan Mousley and Michael Mallamaci, and a bases-loaded walk scored Mousley to make it 1-0. The Sals answered as Lang crushed a ball for a leadoff triple and scored on a Conor Campbell ground out. Deuce Rzucidlo was hit by a pitch, bringing up Zach Czarnecki, who hit a bomb to deep left-center field for an inside-the-park two run homer to give the Sals a 3-1 lead.
The Auks loaded the bases in the second inning without a hit, but the Sals got out of the jam as Campbell caught a fly ball in right and fired a cannon to catcher Luke Swift at home for the inning-ending double play.
Archmere put up a four spot in the third. Dan Storm led off with a single and scored on a single by Leonard Albanese that fell right on the line between three fielders. That hit loaded the bases, and the Sals brought in Brody Valentine to pitch. He struck out his first two batters, but Erik Risnychok cleared the bases with a triple. Sallies got a run back in the fourth as Venema scored on a wild pitch, cutting the Archmere lead to 5-4.
Both teams scored in the fifth. The Auks added a pair of runs as Matt Benson and Mousley both had RBI singles. The Sals tied the game in their half. Czarnecki led off with his third hit of the game, a single, and he later scored on a wild pitch. Venerma drove in John Dunion with a sacrifice fly. Then Swift hit a triple, and after a hit batter and walk loaded the bases, the Sals tied the game on a balk.
The Sals improved to 10-5 and wrap up the season at home on Saturday vs. Wilmington Charter at 1 p.m. The Auks (10-5) have two games left, including a game at Wilmington Charter on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. and a home game vs. Concord on Saturday morning at 11.
All photos by Jason Winchell.