Blue Hens Fall to Towson 16-8, Still Clinch Spot in Colonial Athletic Association Baseball Championship
But the news wasn’t all bad for the Blue Hens.
Despite the loss, Delaware was able to clinch a spot in the CAA Baseball Championship May 21-24 in Wilmington, N.C. as the Hens’ place in the field was solidified when Hofstra lost to College of Charleston Sunday.
Delaware’s spot in the CAA Tournament disproved many predictions as the Blue Hens were picked to finish last by the league coaches in the pre-season poll. Delaware, which can enter the tournament as high as the No. 3 seed depending on the outcome of its three games vs. James Madison later this week, will compete in the CAA Championship for the third straight year.
In Sunday’s game, Chad Martin gave up six runs on four hits and took the loss for the Blue Hens, while Bruce Zimmermann earned the victory for Towson.
The 33 runs given up to Towson were the most allowed by the Blue Hens in a three game series since UD gave up 34 total runs to former CAA foe Georgia State in a series in April, 2009.
“We just ran into a team that played its best weekend of baseball of the season,” said University of Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “We really just have to regroup and prepare ourselves for the final series of the season and the playoffs.”
Zach Lopes put the Blue Hens on the scoreboard first with an RBI single in the second inning. Joe Giacchino then put Delaware up 2-0 on an RBI single of his own in the third inning.
Facing a two-run deficit, the Tigers recorded one run in the second inning and proceeded to score at least one run in seven consecutive innings.Towson took the lead with a two-run third inning and then added three more runs in the fourth to give the Tigers a 6-2 lead.
After both teams registered one run in the fifth inning, E.J. Stoltzfus launched a three-run home run in the sixth inning to cut Towson’s lead to 7-6. Delaware’s momentum, however, was short-lived as the Tigers answered with a four-run sixth to put the game out of reach.
Towson scored two more runs in the seventh inning and capped of the scoring with a three-run eighth inning that was highlighted by a Hunter Bennett home run. Bennett’s homer was the eighth round-tripper given up by the Blue Hen pitching staff during the series.
Despite the lopsided margin, there were some solid Blue Hen performances. Lopes led the Blue Hens with three hits on the day while Giacchino and Norm Donkin provided two hits each in the losing effort. Stoltzfus led Delaware with three RBI in the game.
Luke Alicknavitch, Taylor Mahoney, and John Geffre combined to pitch the final 4.1 innings in relief of Martin.
While the Towson’s bats were hot throughout the series, faulty Blue Hen fielding and pitching also contributed to the Tigers’ offensive barrage. On Sunday, Towson scored three of its first four runs on a walk, a wild pitch, and an error.
The Blue Hens were unable to corral the Towson offense all series as Delaware possessed the lead for just three innings the entire weekend.
The Blue Hens will next be in action on Thursday as they begin their final regular season series of the year against James Madison. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Bob Hannah Stadium.