NEWARK, Del. – In front of a raucous crowd of nearly 600, the University of Delaware baseball team defeated UNCW 5-1 Saturday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium behind seven dominant innings from freshman Billy Sullivan IV (Right/Jeff Fannon).

The Delaware (17-14, 5-3 CAA) right-hander, who struck out 16 UNCW (20-14, 4-4 CAA) batters, allowed just four baserunners and one single outside of the infield. The Delaware native struck out six straight hitters from the first to third innings and retired seven straight batters via the punch out of that span.

The victory improves the freshman to 4-1 on the season.

UD struck first Saturday, as Kevin Mohollen doubled to open the game. After an Erik Bowren single placed runners on the corners, Kyle Baker singled home Mohollen to give Delaware 1-0 lead. The lead quickly became 2-0 when first baseman Nick Patten singled home Bowren from second base.

The game remained 2-0 until the bottom of the seventh, when Calvin Scott doubled the Delaware advantage, hitting a two-run blast down the left field line. Delaware added its fifth run of the game on back-to-back doubles from Vinny Vaccone and Mohollen.

In the ninth, UNCW loaded the bases with nobody out, but senior James Meeker coaxed a double play and a lazy ground ball to short to earn his fifth save of the season.

Delaware will go for the sweep of UNCW tomorrow afternoon. First pitch from Bob Hannah Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Head coach Jim Sherman:

"Today, Billy gave us one of the best all-time starts in program history. He was that good today both with his command and then the 16 strikeouts. This was the best performance we’ve received since Brandon Walter struck out 17 batters last year against Penn State. It’s great for both the University of Delaware and our program to have two great talents from Delaware. Today was a spectacular day for Billy. And then offensively we came up with a few clutch hits. The ingredients from last season are beginning to creep back in a bit. We’re getting good starting pitching, and the bullpen is doing what they need to do to finish it. We’re starting to hit some home runs and we’re getting clutch hits. That’s what we were doing last season at about this point of the year, and we were able to ride it to an NCAA Tournament appearance. We’re starting to resemble the team from last year a bit. We’re not as strong an offensive club as we were last season, but today was reminiscent of last season. We’re finding ways to win games right now.”

On whether they thought about giving Sullivan IV the eighth:

“The original plan was to give Billy the eighth inning, and then Calvin hit the two-run homer to make it 4-0. The bottom of the seventh was a bit longer of an inning and so we felt he had a bit longer of a rest time. Under the circumstances, we figured it was better to go to [Colman] Vila. We knew that Colman was going to protect the lead, so we don’t have any regrets not sending Billy back out for the eighth.”

Sullivan IV:

“Coach Troy [O’Neal] and I have really been working on my changeup. I haven’t always had the most command of it this season, but it was a huge pitch for me today. Coach Troy did a great job of calling pitches and [Zack] Miller did a great job behind the plate as well. It’s always fun getting out there, but to me it was a little different because it was UNCW. The seniors and the older guys told me about last year and I could sense they were excited both yesterday and today. It’s always fun to play in these rivalry games.”

HEN SCRATCHINGS: 

• Delaware improves to 11-5 this season at home. 
• The Hens are now 14-0 this season when leading after to seven and improve to 8-1 when allowing two runs or less. 
• Before Saturday's ninth-inning run, Delaware held UNCW scoreless for 14 consecutive innings.
• UD is now 14-1 this season when scoring at least five runs and improved to 13-1 when out-hitting an opponent. 
• Delaware hit a two-run home run for the second consecutive game. Delaware improves to 11-3 when hitting a home run. 
• Sullivan IV's 16 strikeouts are the most by a Blue Hen since Brandon Walter struck out 17 batters in eight innings against Penn State (3/) last season.
• Sullivan's 16 strikeouts are the most by a freshman since 2009. 
• Patten's first-inning RBI single extended his hitting streak to nine and his on-base streak to 22. 
• Scott's two-run blast was his fourth of the season, which ties him for the team lead with Patten.
• Meeker has earned a save in back-to-back games. The senior now has five for the season, which is good for the fourth most in the CAA. The righty lowered his ERA to 2.48.