Blue Hens Fall to La Salle 18-6 in Second Round of Liberty Bell Classic
NEWARK , Del. - The University of Delaware baseball team will not have an opportunity to defend its Liberty Bell Classic title as the Blue Hens were defeated in the second round of the tournament by La Salle 18-6 in a non-league game Tuesday at Bob Hannah Stadium.
The game was tied at six until the seventh inning when the Explorers scored nine runs. The offensive barrage included nine total hits, two home runs, and three doubles. The Explorers then tacked on another three runs in the ninth inning on a Nick Tierno three-run home run.
Delaware freshman John Geffre picked up the loss for the Blue Hens, moving the righty’s record to 0-3. Dominic Sgroi picked up his first win of the year for La Salle as the senior allowed only two hits and collected three strikeouts in four innings of relief.
“We got an old-fashioned whooping today,” said University of Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “We are about 30 games in and that is what happens in baseball. Sometimes you do the butt whooping, other times it’s done to you. The kids always bounce right back so I am looking forward to a much better effort tomorrow.”
Freshman Kevin Milley started the game for the Blue Hens, but was unable to find the same rhythm he demonstrated in his first collegiate win last Tuesday against Temple in a first round Liberty Bell Classic win. The lefty pitched four innings and gave up four earned runs on five hits.
Delaware (14-15), which had won four straight games coming into Tuesday’s contest, dug itself a hole early. In the third inning, however, the Blue Hens were able to make contact and put pressure on La Salle starter Freddy Andujar.
Alex Mottle put Delaware on the board with a two-run single up the middle, and after he stole second base, Ryan Hartley followed up with a two-run single up the middle of his own. Tyler Powell capped the Blue Hens scoring in the inning with an RBI single and Delaware led 5-4 after three innings.
La Salle (9-19) tacked on two more runs in the fifth before the Blue Hens answered with a run on a Joe Giacchino sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning.
The loss prevented Delaware from playing the winner of the St. Joseph’s vs. Penn game at Citizens Bank Park in the Liberty Bell Classic championship game later this month.
“I feel bad because we lost an opportunity to play at a big league park,” said Sherman. “We were there last year and it would have been nice to get back, but we are just going to focus on how we can be better tomorrow.”
The 18 runs scored by La Salle were the most given up by the Blue Hens this year and the most Delaware has surrendered since giving up 19 runs to Towson last year in a 19-14 defeat.
Numerous Explorer hitters had great games, but La Salle’s offensive explosion was highlighted by a phenomenal game from senior George Smith, who had four hits, five RBI, two triples, and a home run.
La Salle’s four home runs in the game marked the first home runs hit at the newly-renovated Bob Hannah Stadium.
The Blue Hens will next be in action Wednesday as they face La Salle again at 3 p.m. at Bob Hannah Stadium.