Delaware Uses the Longball to Sweep Rider, Delaware State at Hannah Invitational
NEWARK, Del. -- After some early season struggles, the bats came alive for the University of Delaware baseball team Monday as the Blue Hens defeated Rider 8-5 and Delaware State 15-5 in the final day of the Bob Hannah Invitational at Bob Hannah Stadium.
After averaging just 4.1 runs and 9.2 hits per game over the first eight games of the season, the Blue Hens exploded for 23 runs and 19 hits on the way to the sweep. The day's take included five home runs by Delaware.
"Any time you play a doubleheader and win both games it's a good day at the ballpark," Delaware head coach Jim Sherman said. "I thought we got some good pitching today, and another quality start from Spads (Nick Spadafino) who struggled a bit, but was still good enough to win for us. The relief pitching did a good job. In the second game [Kevin] Milley wasn't as sharp as he's been, but the pen did a great job. Offensively we surely picked it up and came up with some big hits. Coming into the year we expected to hit the long ball, and we started to do that today. We just have to keep this going tomorrow and this weekend."
On Sunday, Delaware (4-6) managed just three runs on eight hits in falling to the Rider by a 4-3 score in the opening round of the Hannah Invitational. But Monday morning was different story as the Blue Hens tagged Rider (3-5) for eight runs on seven hits.
After Spadafino allowed a two-run home run to designated hitter Riley Mihalik in the first inning, Nick Patten gave UD the lead for good when he connected on a three-run home run to left, his first longball of the season. Patten went 2 for 2 for the day, stole a base, and scored three runs.
The Hens added two runs on a double by Jeremy Ake in the third and two more runs in the fifth inning.
Vila retired the final two batters in the eighth inning, while Hinton pitched a scoreless ninth, earning his first save of the season.
In the nightcap, the Blue Hens continued to find success at the plate, connecting on four home runs and 11 hits to defeat Delaware State (2-7).
"Glover, Trimble and Patten are our main power guys," said Sherman. "When those guys are driving the ball, we have way more opportuntities to have crooked numbers and big inning. Those guys did that today. Calvin Scott is also swinging the bat well so we're happy for him because he's really waited his turn. Those four guys coming on is a good sign for us as we move on to tomorrow."
Senior Jordan Glover connected on a two-run moonshot in the first before adding another home run over the wall in the left-center field gap in the six.
Left-handed pitcher Kevin Milley didn’t allow a run in the first three innings and the Blue Hens struck for six runs in the third behind an RBI double from Doug Trimble, a two-run single from Patten, and a three run homer un from third baseman Diaz Nardo to extend the lead to 8-0 after three.
The Hens added four runs in the eighth, three of which scored on a bases clearing double by Scott.
Out of the bullpen, Delaware received solid pitching from Scott Zimmer, who pitched two and two thirds scoreless innings earning his first career win. In addition to Zimmer, the Hens got solid outings from Burk FitzPatrick and Vila.
The day marked the first time since last March that Delaware swept a doubleheader.
The Blue Hens return to action Tuesday afternoon when Delaware hosts UMBC at 2:30 p.m. Left-hander Matt Hornich will start for Delawar
• Glover reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances vs. Delaware State and raised his batting average from .219 to .265
• Patten went a combined 3-6 in Monday’s double-header. He added his first home run of the season, scored five runs, drove in six, and raised his batting average nearly 50 points.
• Nick Tierno has now thrown out five base runners in his six starts behind the plate. Tierno threw out a runner from his knees vs. Rider
• Freshman Jordan Hutchins earned his first career start at shortstop in the finale vs. Delaware State and connected on his first career hit leading off the fourth
• Kevin Mohollen had his eight-game on-base streak snapped in the opener
MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Andrew Stern | Anwstern@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-6519 | Cell: 914-589-9666