Wiley Wildcats Sweep Season-Opening Doubleheader

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GRAND PRAIRIE, TX – For the first time in four years, the Wiley College baseball team opened the season with consecutive victories – 6-1 and 7-1 over Arlington Baptist University on Friday at AirHogs Stadium.

The last time the Wildcats opened with consecutive victories was in 2015 – when they started 6-0. It’s the first time they’ve won their opening game since 2016.

“These wins feel great,” head coach Kendrick Biggs said. “I think the guys are buying in and they are hungry. We had a solid performance from all sides today. We still have a lot of work to do, but we are headed in the right direction.”

With his start on the mound in Game 1, Brandon Bilnoski (SR/Marshall, Texas) became the first Wildcat to start four consecutive opening days. He went three innings, giving up one run on three hits. Four of his nine outs were ground outs. Wiley College got two outs on the bases, as Tyler Baumann(SR/Houston, Texas) threw out Cole Row attempting to steal second in the first inning and Bilnoski picked off Parker Humphrey at third base.

Noah Whitted (SO/Silsbee, Texas) pitched three solid innings in relief – striking out two batters en route to the win. Joe O’Bryant Jr. (FR/Spring, Texas) made his Wiley debut and closed the game with a perfect seventh inning.

Seven players recorded 12 hits for the Wildcats. Tyler Baumann went 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. Dominic Tezeno (SO/Orange, Texas) was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases, a run and RBI. Darian Fleming(SR/Beaumont, Texas) went 2-for-3 with a run. In his Wildcat Debut, Manuel Torres (SO/Winter Haven, Florida) went 2-for-2 with a double, two runs and a RBI. He reached base in all four plate appearances. Dorian Lewis (SR/Beaumont, Texas) went 2-for-3.

The Wildcats (2-0) didn’t trail in either game – scoring runs in the first inning of both games. With one out in the first inning of the first game, Tezeno reached with a single. He stole two bases and scored on an error by the shortstop.

Fleming led off the second inning with a single. He advanced on a passed ball and sacrifice bunt. An RBI single by Baumann extending Wiley College’s lead to two. Tezeno drove in Manuel Torres, who was hit by a pitch – on a sacrifice fly.

After surrendering a run in the third, the Wildcats reclaimed momentum in the fifth. Baumann led off with a double. Christian Biggs (FR/Tatum, Texas), who was the courtesy runner scored his first career run on a single by Luis Santiago (JR/Salinas, Puerto, Rico). Torres led off the sixth with a single. He advanced on an error and single. Santiago’s grounder scored Torres. In the seventh inning, Torres hit a RBI double to score Timmie Russell (FR/Houston, Texas) for his first career run.

In the second game, Wiley College jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Baumann led off with a double. A double by Santiago brought home Darrell Victoria (SO/Beaumont, Texas) – who served as Baumann’s courtesy runner. Santiago scored on a wild pitch. Justice Brown (SR/Sugarland, Texas) followed with a triple to center and he scored on a single by Markus Garza (JR/Angleton, TX).

The Wildcats added a run in the third. Brown and Garza reached on walks. After Torres walked to load the bases, Dorian Lewis brought Brown home on a sacrifice fly. Arlington Baptist answered with a run on an error. Wiley College responded with two runs on one hit and an error. Baumann reached on a walk and Tezeno singled on a bunt. Victoria scored his second run of the game on a double steal with Tezeno taking second. Russell pinch ran for Tezeno and scored on a ground ball by Santiago. Garrett Barber (SR/Lancaster, California) led off the fifth with a walk and scored the final run on a passed ball.

Six Wildcats combined for seven hits. Tezeno went 2-for-2 with a steal. Wiley College’s pitching was strong again – limiting Arlington Baptist to one run on three hits. Jon Michael Roberson (SO/Roma, Texas) made his first start. In three innings, he didn’t give up a hit and struck out three batters. Austin Rotramel (JR/Plano, Texas) pitched three innings and struck out seven – picking up the win. Demetrice Rudolph (JR/Reserve, Louisiana) made his first appearance and shutdown the Patriots in the seventh.

The Wildcats return home to face University of St. Mary in a four-game series with doubleheaders on February 1 and 2.

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