NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware baseball team capped off a series victory in style Sunday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium, erasing a 5-1 eighth-inning deficit to defeat Elon University 6-5 in 10 innings.

The Blue Hens (25-22, 9-9 CAA), who trailed the game 5-1 with two outs in the eighth inning, found some late-inning magic scoring five times over their last 13 at-bats to cap-off another CAA series victory.

Elon (28-20, 10-8 CAA) struck first Sunday, adding a pair of second-inning runs off Delaware freshman Chris Ludman. Delaware cut the Phoenix lead to 2-1 in the fourth, when Nick Patten hit a no-doubter to left field for his eighth home run of the season.

Singular runs for Elon in the fifth, sixth and eighth gave the visitors a 5-1 lead heading into the eighth inning, where Delaware was able to shave a run off the deficit. Kevin Mohollen and Kyle Baker singled to open the inning for Delaware and later advanced a base on a wild pitch. A Tyler Callender (Below, left/Mark Campbell) walk loaded the bases for Diaz Nardo, who worked a five-pitch walk.

After Hutchins struck out to end the frame, Elon answered with a pair of singles to open the ninth inning, prompting a pitching change. Lefty Colman Vila entered and stranded both runners on base giving the Blue Hens a chance in the ninth.

With their backs against the wall, Delaware went to work in the ninth, as Erik Bowren led-off the frame with a walk. After a strikeout, Mohollen and Baker worked walks to load the bases for Patten, who also walked.

The three straight walks forced a pitching change from Elon, who summoned closer Robbie Welhaf from the bullpen. After taking a breaking-ball for a strike, Callender roped a single into left-center that chased home Mohollen and Baker, tying the game at five.  Delaware’s walk-off bid was put on hold in the ninth, as Elon struck out a batter and coaxed a fly-ball.

Vila returned for the 10th working a perfect 1-2-3 frame with a pair of strikeouts, setting the stage for the victory.

In the home half of the 10th, freshman Jordan Hutchins took the first pitch he saw from new Elon pitcher Owen Lorenz (4-3) and crushed a double off the ‘Blue Monster’ in left. Bowren then singled to advance the winning run to third base for pinch hitter Austin Niggebrugge, who singled past the drawn-in infield to give the Blue Hens the win.

Today’s victory extends the Blue Hens lead to three games over James Madison for the sixth and final playoff spot. Delaware holds the tiebreaker over the Dukes, by virtue of Delaware’s series victory back in April.

UD returns to action Tuesday evening at UMBC. First pitch from Baltimore is set for 6 p.m.

Head coach Jim Sherman
“Our pitching allowed us to win this game today, especially our bullpen. We would not have had a shot to come back if the pitching wasn’t as good today. Even though we gave up five runs, out pitching was very good. We had a good eighth inning getting a run and then we put together one of our better innings of the season in the ninth. The performance over the final three innings is what we’ve been looking for all year long and is similar to the types of innings we produced last year. The quality at-bats allowed us to tie it in the ninth. Then Vila did a great job of shutting them down in the 10th giving us the chance to win it. In the bottom half of the inning, we received the big double from Hutchins and the great bunt single from Bowren. Then we decided to call on Niggebrugge because he’s a really strong contact hitter. Great job by him locating a hittable pitch and not trying to do too much, sending it through the infield. It was a really big win for us. We’ve got a big weekend next weekend at William & Mary and we need to continue to go down there and get good pitching and play good defense. Hopefully, this can serve as a momentum builder.”

On Vila:
“Colman is a jack-of-all-trades for us and he could even be a starter. For us, we need him to throw at least twice in a weekend. I think you see his importance yesterday closing it out and then today he comes in and strands a pair of runners, giving us a chance to make something happen late. We’re lucky we have him and he’s had a great career for us.”

On the contributions from Callender:
“Callender has done a great job at the plate the last week and a half. I’m really happy for him because he’s starting to find his role on this team. No one has worked harder than he has, and everyone is extremely excited for him. He’s a great kid and we all love him and what he brings to our club. His contributions make us a better baseball team.”

Tyler Callender: 

“Today’s win was about being focused and having confidence. We struggled early on and didn’t have many quality at-bats, but later in the game, we did a good job of taking bad pitches. We just were focused and locked-in. I struggled a bit early today with my discipline and focus, but I think I was able to turn the page in my last three at-bats where I singled twice and walked. In the ninth inning, I was looking for a fastball, and Elon left one up in the zone and I was able to get enough on it for a good result. Coming into this weekend our back was against the wall, being the last team in the postseason, so we knew that two games would help us. We know we just need to get to the CAA Tournament because if we do we can make some noise with our lethal pitching. We’re trying to manufacture some runs right now trying to get wins. We did it today when we needed it. “

Austin Niggebrugge: 
"All of the credit goes to coach Sherm and my teammates for putting me in that situation. Once Elon brought the infield in, I knew that I could control the bat really well and hopefully place it in a good spot.  I was just thinking about bringing the run in either by driving the ball or by hitting it hard. And thankfully it went through the middle. This win is huge for us because we're fighting to make the postseason. Our bats haven't been performing all that well lately but thankfully our pitchers like Spad, Hornich and Vila have been great. All of our pitchers have been great all year and have been keeping us in the games. This was a great win." 

• Delaware's four-run eighth inning comeback is the team largest comeback win since Delaware erased a 5-1 eighth-inning deficit against Arizona (Jun. 2) in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Blue Hens also erased a 4-0  eighth-inning deficit against William & Mary (Apr. 1) last season. 
• Today's victory is the Blue Hens first walk-off win since last Apr. 1. 
• Delaware went 6-12 over the last three innings with five walks. 
• Patten's home run was his team-leading eighth of the season and the 34th of his career moving him into a tie for 10th place on the all-time Blue Hens HR list. 
• The first baseman has hit at least seven home runs in all three of his Delaware seasons. 
• Vila lowered his ERA to 0.92 this season. The reliever has not allowed a run in his last 19.1 innings pitched (eight appearances). 
• The lefty has struck out 48 batters this season and has issued just nine walks. Vila has walked one batter since Apr. 15 and has struck out 23 batters over that stretch. 
• Baker extended his hitting streak to 10 games and recorded eight hits in 12 at-bats this weekend. The junior has recorded multiple hits in four consecutive games and is now hitting .349 on the year which is the third-best mark in the CAA. 
• The junior is just three percentage points behind Northeastern's Charlie McConnell (.352) who leads the conference.
• Delaware recorded a pair of outfield assists today, as Calvin Scott ended the eighth inning by throwing out a runner at home and Mohollen threw out a runner at third base in the ninth on a failed pickoff attempt. 
• Mohollen scored his team-leading 39th and 40th runs of the season. His 40 runs scored are the second most in the CAA.
• The junior has now scored 142 runs as Blue Hen and needs just 58 more runs to become the seventh player in program history to score 200 career runs. 
• Callender drove in his eighth and ninth runs of the week.