NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware baseball team won a crucial 7-6 rubber-match from Monmouth University Sunday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.

Redshirt freshman Chance DiFebbo drove in the game-winning run with two out on a suicide squeeze play in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Senior James Meeker, who started for the Blue Hens (8-5) at designated hitter, stranded the bases loaded in the ninth with one out to earn his second save of the series. Freshman Billy Sullivan IV went the first four innings for Delaware, allowing a season-high three earned runs. The St. Mark’s product threw 90 pitches and struck out a pair of Monmouth (4-8) hitters, earning a no-decision.

At the plate, Calvin Scott hit his first home run of the season and reached base four times (three walks) scoring the winning run. Centerfielder Kevin Mohollen went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Andrew Reich recorded a pair of hits in four plate appearances.  

Delaware continues its eight-game homestand Tuesday afternoon against Maryland. First pitch from Bob Hannah Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.  

Head coach Jim Sherman:

“I think it’s important for us to play some close games early on. Once you get into CAA play and into the postseason, the games are usually close, so this prepares us well. After Friday’s tough performance it was great to see us bounce back yesterday, winning a tight pitcher duel before the bats picked up today. Down the stretch today we got the right combination of clutch pitching and execution at the plate. Meeker has a knack for being able to escape those tough situations, so that’s why we trusted him today. I think he enjoys them. He’s a senior who’s been in similar situations before so he knows how to handle them.”

On calling for a bunt in the 8th inning: 

“It’s widely discussed that you don’t really bunt with two strikes, but I don’t really buy into that philosophy. For me, it was about making sure the player at the plate gets the sign and that everyone is on the same page. If Chance would have fouled it off, to me it wouldn’t have been that big of a deal because we would have still would have had the bases loaded for our hottest hitter right now, Diaz [Nardo]. So, to me, it wasn’t that big of a gamble. It was just a matter of Chance executing it and give him credit because he did a great job.”

James Meeker:

“I think high-leverage situations are fun to pitch in. As a competitor, those are the types of games and moments you like to play in. I think the pressure is not on me as a pitcher, but the hitter because he’s expected to deliver a run. You just have to execute your pitches. Friday we didn’t play our best game, but this weekend shows that our team is resilient fighting back to win a big series here at home.”

On the challenges associated with being the DH and pitching in the same game: 

“Going from hitting to pitching has its challenges for sure, but it reminds me of my tee-ball days where I used to play all of the different positions. It’s a little different at this level, but it’s fun to be able to make different impacts on the game.”   

HEN SCRATCHINGS: 

• Delaware improves to 8-1 when scoring first.
• UD is now 4-0 when hitting a home run.
• The Blue Hens are now 7-0 when leading after seven innings.
• Delaware has won eight straight home series dating back to last season.
• The Hens are now 6-0 when scoring at least six runs.
• Today’s victory is Delaware’s first this season when allowing more than five runs (1-4).
• UD has stolen 22 bases in 30 attempts this season. Seven different Hens have stolen a base so far.
• Meeker stranded the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position in both of Delaware’s victories. The righty leads the team in both wins (2) and saves (2).
• DiFebbo has three RBI in his first five at-bats.