COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- If you are a Blue Hens fan Thursday’s makeup game at Maryland was worth the wait, as Delaware defeated Big Ten member Maryland 7-1 at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium.

The Hens (6-4) received great performances up and down the roster, as the four Delaware arms combined to limit the potent Maryland (7-5) attack to just one run.

Third baseman Diaz Nardo, who tied his career-high five RBI, went four-for-five with a home run and a pair of doubles, while first baseman Nick Patten went two-for-three, hitting his first home of the season in the fifth.

Lefty Matt Hornich (1-0) pitched the first five innings for Delaware, allowing just three hits and one run. He struck out four, lowering his ERA to 1.74 on the year.  

For the sixth and part of the seventh inning, Delaware turned to freshman Chris Ludman (1.2 IP, 2K) who recorded his first career UD strikeout. Righty Clay Conaway (0.2 IP, 1K) relieved Ludman and recorded the final two outs of the seventh.

Colman Vila replaced Conaway in the eighth, pitching the final inning and two-thirds to close the door.

Delaware, who has won a season-best four games in a row, snapped Maryland’s season-high four game winning streak. The Hens return to action tomorrow afternoon when they welcome Monmouth for a three-game set. First pitch from Bob Hannah is slated for 2:30 p.m.

Head coach Jim Sherman

“Today’s win again started with the pitching, as once again we got great outings from each pitcher we threw. Hornich was outstanding this afternoon pounding the zone. Then Ludman came in and again was excellent. Then Clay and Vila finished it out. We really could not have asked for better efforts from our pitchers. At the plate, we got some clutch hits. Diaz’s home run was critical for us early and then Patten got finally got a ball in the zone he could drive, and he hit it out. Overall it was a great day and we look forward to getting back out there tomorrow against a strong Monmouth team for some more home cooking.”

On Diaz Nardo’s hot stretch:

“We made a few adjustments in Diaz’s swing and his approach in the batter’s box which I think has helped him. He is a big strong kid so we were looking to get him on the plate a bit more which will give him the opportunity to dominate the baseball more. This change will allow him to get his bat to cover more of the plate. I think he’s doing a good job.”

Diaz Nardo: 

"Overall I'm just focusing on coach Sherman's approach of driving the ball to right center and standing closer to the plate. Today especially I jumped on the sliders that I saw driving them into the gaps., It was great to help the team get a win. Our pitchers today were unbelievable. It started with Matty Hornich and continued down the line. The pitching has been tremendous all year long for us. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling into the weekend."  

HEN SCRATCHINGS:

• Delaware improves to 4-0 this season where scoring at least six runs.
• The Blue Hens allowed less than four runs for the third consecutive game.
• UD has pitched to a team ERA of 2.57 so far this season.
• Delaware is 6-1 this season when holding its opponents under five runs.
• The Hens have received 13.2 innings of scoreless relief from Conaway, Ludman
and Vila.
• Second baseman Erik Bowren went two-for-four with a walk. The junior raised his batting average to .435.
• Outfielder Kyle Baker improved his team-best average to .450. The junior has scored a team-best nine runs.
• Baker has recorded multiple hits in five consecutive games and in seven of 10 contests this season.