Blue Hens Host Colonial Athletic Association Rival James Madison in Final Series of Regular Season
NEWARK, Del. - After clinching a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Championship, the University of Delaware baseball team will look to improve its seeding as the Blue Hens close out the regular season with a three-game home series against James Madison this weekend.
Games one and two of the series were originally scheduled to be played Thursday and Friday, but due to impending inclement weather, they will be played as a doubleheader Thursday beginning at 1p.m. The final game of the series on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m. All three games will be played at the University of Delaware’s Bob Hannah Stadium.
Delaware’s spot in the postseason disproved many preseason predictions as the Blue Hens (22-24, 8-9 CAA) were picked to finish last in the CAA before the season. This season marks the third straight year the Blue Hens have made the CAA Baseball Championship.
James Madison (16-32, 7-10 CAA) comes into this weekend’s series coming off a loss to Longwood on Tuesday. In their last CAA action, the Dukes lost two of three games to Northeastern last weekend.
The Dukes come into the final weekend of the regular season trying to earn a spot in the CAA Baseball Championship. Six teams qualify for the postseason and the Dukes currently reside in the sixth spot in the CAA standings with a slight lead over Hofstra.
Offensively, the Dukes are led by Ty MacFarland who leads the team in hits (64), batting average (.315), runs (45), and home runs (9).
The Blue Hens’ pitching staff struggled in last weekend’s series against Towson. Delaware gave up 33 runs to the Tigers, which were the most runs allowed by the Blue Hens in a three game series since UD gave up 34 total runs to Georgia State in a series in April 2009.
Despite the pitching struggles in Delaware’s series against Towson, there were some bright spots for the Blue Hens's offense. Delaware had a .266 team batting average against the Tigers. Zach Lopes recorded seven hits in the series and E.J. Stoltzfus, Ty Warrington, and Jake Clark each clubbed three-run home runs against Towson.
- Junior Norm Donkin leads Delaware in hits (60), RBI (27), doubles (16) and stolen bases (10)
- Joe Giacchino is tied for the CAA lead in triples with five this season
- Delaware has won five games this season when they have trailed after six innings
- Delaware is second in the CAA in team batting with a .277 average
- Dan Gatto is third in the CAA in innings pitched with 89.1 on the season
- Luke Alicknavitch has five saves on the year, which is tied for fourth in the CAA.
- Stoltzfus and Lopes both come into this weekend’s series riding an eight-game hitting streak.