NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware baseball team behind strong performances from Kyle Hinton (6.1 IP, 1 ER, 8K), Nick Patten (3-4, HR, 2B) and Colman Vila (2.2 IP, 5K) defeated James Madison University 5-1 Friday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.

The Blue Hens (19-16, 6-4 CAA), who won their fourth conference game in their last five CAA games, received another strong outing from Hinton (5-3) who pitched into the seventh inning for the fourth time this season.

Delaware took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when freshman Jordan Hutchins tripled home Calvin Scott in the second inning. The Blue Hens quickly made it 2-0, when catcher Zack Miller doubled off the top of the wall, scoring Hutchins.

After a scoreless Hinton frame in the third, Delaware quickly doubled its advantage in the bottom half of the inning. After Erik Bowren led-off the inning with a double, Kyle Baker drove a single to center, scoring Bowren. Two pitches later, Patten doubled to set-up a pair of runners in scoring position. Baker would later score on a sac-fly by Calvin Scott.

The game remained 4-0 until the seventh when James Madison (20-18, 5-8 CAA) looked to cut into the UD lead. Lead-off batter Hunter Johnson hit a lead-off home run to cut the Delaware lead to 4-1. After a strikeout, JMU placed runners on the corners with one man out, prompting a pitching change. Facing the tying run at the plate, Vila struck out the next two batters he faced.

Delaware tacked on an extra insurance run in the eighth when Patten crushed a home run high over the Blue Monster in left. Vila struck out the first two batters he faced in the ninth, before ending the game on a fly-out to right.

The victory moves Delaware into sole possession of third place in the CAA standings, one-half game ahead of UNCW who hosts Towson later this evening. Delaware moved ahead of Elon who currently sits at 7-5. 

Delaware and James Madison return for the second game of the series Saturday afternoon. CAA Pitcher of the Week Billy Sullivan IV (4-1, 1.99 ERA) will pitch for Delaware, while RHP Kevin Kelly (2-3, 3.27 ERA) will pitch for JMU.  

Head coach Jim Sherman: 
"Today was a good day for us. I thought we played really well. Hinton showed early on that he was sharp so that always gives our guys a boost. After he stranded the bases loaded in the second, Hutchins came up with the big triple with two outs that got us started. I thought it was big to get the two early runs in the second and then add two more in the third. We got some timely hits from Patten and Baker in the third. I think today was a good clean game. Our pitching today was outstanding as both Hinton and Vila were great. When we went to Vila in the seventh we thought that Hinton still had some energy left, but we liked the lefty-lefty matchup with Colman. And then everything worked around. Colman is a guy who has been around now for five years, having pitched the most games in program history. He knows how to navigate through those big spots because he's been there before. He's an important guy to have late in games."

On tomorrow's game with James Madison: 
"I think we're in great shape tomorrow because if you were going to draw it up you'd love to use only one reliever. It's nice that we have Billy tomorrow and we didn't use [James] Meeker and some of our other bullpen arms. So I don't think we could have drawn this up any better." 

Kyle Hinton: 
"Today I was just trying to do everything I could to give our team a chance to win today and tomorrow. My goal today was to throw strikes and trust my defense behind me. Our bats have been coming around after a slower start, and Patty has been tearing it up lately. For me, having a lead going into the third inning gave me extra confidence out there. I think we're hitting our stride a bit. We're coming off a big weekend where we won two-of-three against UNCW and now we got the first one in this series. We just want to keep things rolling. To me, it seems like we're having more fun as a team. Hopefully, we can the series tomorrow."

HEN SCRATCHING: 
• Delaware improves to 13-6 this season at Bob Hannah Stadium, and to 5-2 in CAA games played at Bob Hannah Stadium. 
• Tomorrow Delaware will look for its seventh consecutive CAA series victory at home. 
• Delaware is now 16-0 this season when leading after seven. 
• The Hens are 15-1 this season when out-hitting their opponents. 
• Patten finished just a triple shy of his second career cycle. The lone out that first baseman made was a deep fly-out to left field where the ball was knocked down by the wind. 
• With his single in the second inning, Patten increased his on-base streak to 26 games. The Pa. native is now hitting .258 this season.
• Vila has now struck out 33 batters in 24.2 innings. 
• Hinton re-took the strikeout lead from Sullivan IV. The righty's eight strikeouts increases his season total to 60. The Delaware native improved his record to 5-0 this season at Bob Hannah Stadium, having struck out 41 batters in 38 innings of work.
• Hinton's ERA is just 1.18 at home this season.
• Hinton earned his team-leading fifth victory of the season this afternoon. 
• Hutchins has driven in four runs this week. All four have come with two outs. 
• OF Kevin Mohollen failed to reach base in a home game for the first time all season.