DOVER, Del. – The University of Delaware baseball team defeated Delaware State University 3-1 in 13 innings Tuesday afternoon at Soldier Field.

Three different Blue Hens (21-17) pitchers combined to throw 13 strong innings, allowing just a third-inning run.

Senior Nick Spadafino pitched the first seven for the Blue Hens allowing just five hits and one run. The Dover native struck out five.

Junior Clay Conaway pitched the next 2.2 innings for Delaware, allowing just three hits. Conaway who pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, stranded a pair of runners on base in the ninth inning. The Delaware native recorded two outs in the 10th before leaving with a pair of runners on base.

Lefty Colman Vila recorded the final out in the 10th and scattered a single in a scoreless 11th. The senior pitched a 1-2-3 12th before returning to record the final three outs in the 13th inning.

Delaware, who trailed 1-0 after five innings, tied the game in the sixth. Kevin Mohollen led-off the sixth with a single and advanced to second on a sac-bunt. With two outs in the inning, first baseman Nick Patten roped a single up the middle to score Mohollen.

The game remained 1-1 until the 13th when Delaware struck for a pair of runs. Erik Bowren singled with one out and later scored on a Kyle Baker triple. The Hens added an insurance run on a Diaz Nardo single.

In the home half of the 13th Vila worked around a one-out single to secure the victory. Delaware returns to action tomorrow afternoon against Penn. Freshman Winston Allen is scheduled to make his first career start for the Blue Hens. First pitch from Bob Hannah Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Head coach Jim Sherman

“We don’t win the game today without the efforts that we received on the mound this afternoon. We got a great start out of Spadafino which was great to see because he’s been really battling these last few weeks. His performance today was a big shot in the arm for us. I’m really happy for Spad. Then Clay and Vila both threw well. If it wasn’t for those three guys we wouldn’t have had a chance to win that game. Then in the 13th, we got some clutch hits. Credit Bowren for getting on-base to get it started followed by Baker’s triple and Diaz followed with a double. Those three guys all worked great at-bats. Then Vila came back out for the 13th and shut the door. Tomorrow we’re going to start Winston and give him his first career start. He’s been throwing well. Our goal is to use Joey Haass and Matt Hornich a bit later in the game out of the bullpen to see how they handle the later portion of the game. We know as we get down the stretch that we’re going to need everyone to contribute during CAA weekends and then hopefully into the playoffs.”

 On Spadafino’s strong day:

“It’s been a tough senior season for Spaddy. The best part to me is he has not stopped working and rooting for his teammates. We made the tough decision to move him out of the weekend rotation, but today hopefully is a confidence booster for him and exactly what the doctor ordered. I keep telling him that somewhere along the line he’s going to play a big role for this team as we head down the stretch of the season. Hopefully, this is the start of that.”


“Whenever you have either a really good outing like today or even a good inning like I had against Saint Joe’s dealing with a tough situation it really brings some confidence back. Coach Sherm and coach [Troy] O’Neal have really been pushing me and have been great in terms of helping me keep my confidence. They told me to keep pushing and that it will come around for me. Knowing that they have my back has really helped me keep my confidence up.”

On pitching in his hometown of Dover:
“Today being back home there were a lot of people I knew in the stands. I really wanted to make one of my last outings be a good one. As the season and my career comes to an end I think it’s important for me to really have fun and enjoy the moment. Ben Werkheiser called a great game for me behind the plate and the defense behind me made some great plays. I thought Diaz and Erik made a few great plays, as did Patten at first base. I know it wasn’t the offensive game we want to have but as a team 13 innings is a long day, and it’s hard to stay locked in and focused for that whole time and pull out a win against our in-state rival. We knew they were going to play their best game, but I thought we were just good enough to pull out the win.”

On carrying the momentum into tomorrow and the weekend:

“We have another important game against a good Penn team tomorrow before we play Charleston this weekend. I think we just need to bring the same level that we’ve had this past few weekends. We need to come out attacking. If we can win the series on Friday and Saturday like we have the past three home series then hopefully we can shut down the third day to get the sweep. It all starts with the Friday game. Charleston is a great team and program, but hopefully, we play good ball. We need to bring the confidence from winning the past two series into this weekend.”

• Delaware improves to 6-0 in midweek day games this season.
• The Blue Hens are now 18-4 when scoring at least three runs.
• Tuesday's game is the longest game of the season. The Hens had played just one extra-inning game before today.
• UD swept the season series from Delaware State, 4-0.
• Vila earned his fourth win of the season Tuesday. 
• The lefty has struck out 37 batters in 29.2 innings pitched. 
• Vila lowered his ERA to 1.21. 
• Spadafino has not allowed an earned run in his last eight innings pitched. 
• Patten reached base in his 29th consecutive game. The first baseman also runs his hitting streak to five games. 
Jordan Hutchins recorded a base hit for the sixth consecutive game. He is hitting .321 through his first 53 ABs this season.
• Mohollen scored his team-leading 33rd run Tuesday.