Donkin Drives in Winning Run on Suicide Squeeze; Blue Hens Get First CAA Win in Extra Innings Over Northeastern
After a leadoff triple by centerfielder Joe Giacchino to start the 12th inning, junior Norm Donkin laid down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt while Giacchino was breaking for home. Northeastern pitcher Nick Cubarney was unable to corral the ball in time and Giacchino slid home to clinch the Delaware victory.
Both team received stellar performances from their pitching staffs. For Delaware (12-14, 1-2 CAA), senior Dan Gatto was unable to get the win, but put forth one of the best pitching performances of the year. The righty pitched 10 scoreless innings, giving up seven hits and collecting three strikeouts. Gatto was relieved by junior Luke Alicknavitch (1-2) who pitched two scoreless innings to get the win and started a key double play in the 12th inning to escape a jam.
Northeastern (13-13, 2-2 CAA) starting pitcher Nick Berger pitched seven scoreless innings and gave up only four hits. Berger was relieved by freshman Aaron Civale who pitched four scoreless innings of his own. Cubarney (0-1) took the loss for the Huskies.
The game was the first 1-0 extra inning game in the history of Bob Hannah Stadium, which opened as Delaware Diamond in 1966. The game was also the first 1-0 win for the Hens at home since a 1-0 seven-inning victory over Vermont on Apr. 2, 1999.
Mike Foster provided one of the few bright spots for the Husky offense as the redshirt sophomore led the team with three hits on the day.
The Blue Hens also attempted a game-winning suicide squeeze in the ninth inning, but the attempt was thwarted when Jake Clark was unable to connect with a pitch in the dirt and catcher Josh Treff was easily able to tag out Tyler Dean. Dean was pinch-running for Alex Mottle, who singled, moved to second on an error, and advanced to third on a sacrifice.
Giacchino and Mottle led the Blue Hens with two hits apiece. Giacchino also tripled in the 10th inning and the Hens had the bases loaded with one out but Zach Lopes struck out and pinch-hitter Nick Liggett grounded out to first to end the inning.
Delaware and Northeastern will return to action Saturday when the rival square off a 1 p.m. At Bob Hannah Stadium. The third and final game of the weekend set will begin Sunday at 1 p.m.