NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware baseball team, despite an early 2-0 lead, fell 6-2 to Elon University Friday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.

The Blue Hens (23-22, 7-9 Colonial Athletic Associaion), who placed eight of their first 14 batters on base, managed just the two first-inning runs off Elon (28-18, 10-6 CAA) ace Kyle Brnovich (6-2), who struck out nine batters in seven strong innings.

Delaware led 2-0 heading into the top of the third, but a solo home run and a two-out single off Kyle Hinton (5-5) tied the game at two.

In the home half of the third, Delaware placed the first two batters on base, but a pair of strikeouts and a fielder’s choice kept the Hens off the board.

Delaware made a couple of loud outs throughout the game, including a pair of fly balls that were caught at the wall, but went just 4-22 with runners on base.

Elon took the lead for good in the fourth, and added insurance runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth to put the game away.

In the loss, junior Kyle Baker went 3-4 with a run scored while Kevin Mohollen reached base three times and scored a run. Hinton went 4.2 innings allowing six hits, three runs (two earned) and struck out five.

Delaware will look to even the series Saturday at 1 p.m. Freshman Billy Sullivan IV will take the ball for Delaware while sophomore George Kirby (8-1, 2.19 ERA) will go for Elon. The game will be the first ever Bark in the Park day, featuring a special appearance by P.R.O.U.D (Puppy Raisers of UD) and a ceremonial first pitch. Fans are encouraged to bring their favorite four-legged friend. More information can be found here.

Head coach Jim Sherman

“I mentioned it to our guys after the game in our post-game huddle, but I thought that we had them on the ropes early today. I thought we came out great in the first inning, but like any of the strong pitchers in our conference or even professional baseball, Brnovich got better as the game went on. When you’re facing those top-end starters you have to get them early because when they settle in it becomes tough. I thought once Brnovich settled in he started to get command of his slider and his fastball. He became really good in about the fourth inning. We had our shot early, but credit Elon. Today was about making little mistakes. We have to pride ourselves on our execution of the little things. We failed to get a few sacrifice bunts today that could have led to a few more runs. Those are the things that are going to be the difference for this team. Today the failure to execute the little things contributed to the loss. We’ve got to better because we’re a small-ball team. When we’re in that sacrifice situation we have to get it down. This year, in particular, that’s a key focus for us, especially early in games. I know our kids know it. Hopefully, we can bounce back tomorrow.”

On having Sullivan IV on the mound:

“Tomorrow is another pivotal game for us, as are the remaining eight CAA games. It’s going to be fun to see how our young freshman responds to a big moment. I think he’ll come back with a good effort. He’s now in his first ‘long season’, making the transition from high school baseball to the collegiate game. I know Billy is resilient and I know he wants the ball in big moments. I’m looking forward to getting a great effort out of him tomorrow.”  

HEN SCRATCHINGS: 
• Delaware falls to 6-1 in home Hinton starts. The righty was previously 5-0 at home this season. 
• Baker's 3-for-4 day raised his average to .335 for the season.
• Mohollen's three appearances on base raised his OBP to .416 this season. He scored his team-leading 38th run of the season. 
• Delaware placed a pair of runners on in the ninth but a sharp line-out to deep centerfield ended the game. 
Nick Spadafino fired a scoreless ninth. The righty has allowed just one earned run over his last 13 innings.