Blue Hens Drop Rubber Match of Three-Game Set, Fall to Fordham 7-5 in Series Finale
BEL AIR, Md. -- The University of Delaware jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and banged out a season-high 14 hits on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough as the Blue Hen baseball team fell to Fordham 7-5 in the final game of the team’s three-game weekend set at Harford Community College.
Joe Giacchino collected three hits and Norm Donkin, Jake Clark, and Gary Jones (below left) all had two hits, but the Blue Hens left 10 men on base and dropped their second straight game to fall to 4-6. Both of Jones' hits were doubles.
Fordham, which defeated Delaware 5-3 in the nightcap of a doubleheader Saturday, won its second straight to improve to 2-3. Delaware had won Saturday’s opener by a 3-1 score.
“We played well at times today but we had a couple of innings when we didn’t play quite as well,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “We need to do a better job with our hitting with runners in scoring position. We just need to find a way to win these types of games and win the series.”
Down 7-4, Delaware scored a run in the eighth inning to pull to within two runs and had the bases loaded with two outs. However, Fordham reliever Greg Weissert entered the game and coaxed a groundout by EJ Stolztfus to end the inning. Donkin led off the ninth inning with a double, but he too was stranded as Weissert retired Jake Clark, pinch-hitter Greg Olenski, and Zach Lopes to close out the game and earn the save.
Fordham starter Tim Swatek earned the win as he shook off the rocky first inning and went five innings to even his record at 1-1. Delaware redshirt freshman starter Chad Martin, coming off a victory in his first career start last week vs. Campbell, allowed five runs in three innings and suffered the loss to fall to 1-1.
Delaware had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning as Donkin, a junior who played his first two collegiate season at Harford CC, delivered a run-scoring single to open the scoring and Jones hit a double high off the leftfield fence to bring in another run. Jones later scored on an error.
But Fordham came right back in the top of the second to take the lead for good as the Rams scored four runs behind RBIs from Jason Lundy, Tim O’Connor, and Joseph Runco. The Rams then scored two more runs in the fourth on a Runco double and a Charles Galiano single and added another run in the sixth to take a 7-3 lead.
Delaware fought back to narrow the gap to 7-4 in the seventh when Giacchino led off with a double and scored on an error by Fordham shortstop Luke Stampfl. The Hens pulled to within 7-5 in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Alex Mottle, but couldn’t put another run across.
The Blue Hens return to action this Wednesday, March 5, when they travel downstate to Dover to take on Delaware State at 2:30 p.m.