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PHILADELPHIA  --  The University of Delaware's trip through the Liberty Bell Classic came to an end in the semifinals Tuesday afternoon as the Blue Hen baseball squad dropped a 7-3 decision at La Salle University.

The Blue Hens (15-11), who won their LBC first round game with a decisive 21-6 victory over Rider on Mar. 29, fell behind 7-0 after six innings against LaSalle and just could not muster enough offense late to overcome the early deficit.

“Today we struggled with our focus a bit,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “They were better for the first six innings and we were better the final third of the ball game. Certainly it’s tough to come off a key emotional victory on Sunday (a 5-4 comeback win over William & Mary in 11 innings) and come out flat today. We’ll take this as an opportunity to grow and get better from this. We need to use this as a learning experience heading into Northeastern this weekend.”

La Salle (5-20), which won its seconds straight game, got off to fast start, scoring three times in the first two innings of play. The Explorers extended their lead in the third, scoring their fourth run of the game.

The four-run outburst chased Delaware starter Scott Zimmer from the game after just two innings of work.

Blue Hens reliever Kyle Hinton came on to replace Zimmer and the hard-throwing right-hander threw four solid innings, allowing just two earned runs and striking out four.  The Hens received scoreless innings from Colman Vila and Ron Marinaccio in the seventh and eighth innings respectively.

Delaware scored single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth, but could not muster together a big inning to complete a comeback. Jordan Glover (above right) hit his seventh home run of the season in the seventh.

The Hens' best chance to score came in the ninth inning. Shortstop Jeremy Ake led off the inning with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a line-drive single to center by Calvin Scott.

Diaz Nardo then sent a screaming fly ball that missed going out of the ballpark by a matter of inches. LaSalle reliever Blake James then coaxed back-to-back groundball outs, preserving the win.

Delaware will return to the diamond Wednesday at 6 p.m. with a trip to UMBC. LHP Matt Hornich will pitch for the Hens while Mitchell Wilson will throw for UMBC.

• Delaware fell to 7-2 when it hits at least one home run.
• Nardo failed to produce a hit in a game for the first time in 12 games but extended his team-best 19 game on-base streak when he walked in the third.
• Nick Tierno has produced a hit in his last nine games.
• Trimble produced his team-best 14th multiple-hit game.

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