Surging Blue Hens Continue Home Stand During Delaware Invitational
NEWARK, Del. -- Winners of three in a row, and five out of six, the Delaware baseball team will return to the diamond for four games over the next four days when the Blue Hens host the Delaware Invitational.
The three-team, six-game tournament features the host Blue Hens (5-6), Wagner (1-6) and Binghamton (7-3). The tournament gets underway Thursday, Mar. 9 when the Blue Hens face off with Wagner.
The tournament will continue Friday, when Binghamton and Wagner meet at 11 a.m. and Delaware plays Binghamton at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday Wagner and Binghamton will play at 11 a.m., before Delaware and Wagner complete the day's action around 2:30 p.m.
The tournament will wrap-up on Sunday when the Blue Hens and Bearcats meet for the second time at 12 noon.
After producing just 33 runs over the first eight games, the Delaware bats have awoken. Delaware has produced 33 runs over its current three-game win streak.
This past weekend, UD rebounded from a tough 4-3 loss to Rider, notching wins over the Broncs (8-5), Delaware State (15-5), and UMBC (17-6).
The back-to-back games with 15+ runs marks the first time since 2015 that the Hens have accomplished that feat.
In yesterday's win over the Retrievers, Delaware went 19-40 (.475) as a team at the plate. The Hens hit 10 extra-base hits (two home runs, four triples, four doubles), walked 10 times, and socked 19 hits.
So far this four-game home stand, UD has been led by back-up catcher Brian Mayer, middle infielder Jeremy Ake, and first baseman Nick Patten.
Mayer has produced a .500 average, hitting two long home runs and double. Ake has hit .438 over that span with seven hits, four doubles, and four RBIs.
After not hitting a home run in the teams first eight games, Patten has exploded for two long balls, eight RBIs and eight runs scored this week. The first baseman is hitting .357 for the home stand.
Scouting the Foes:
The Seahawks come into the weekend with a record of 1-6, losers of five games in a row. Last weekend, Wagner was swept at Towson. The Seahawks dropped the first two games by one run (3-2, 2-1), before falling in the finale 6-3.
Wagner senior right-hander Austin Goeke was named Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week last week. Goeke has yet to allow an earned run this season, and fired 6.0 scoreless innings against Towson. Wagner is paced offensively by Kyle Cala (.345 avg) and Phil Capra (.321 avg).
Binghamton comes into the weekend off an extremely successful series at Virginia Tech. The Bearcats swept the ACC member, winning 12-5 in the opener before taking three straight one-run contests. On Saturday, Binghamton defeated the Hokies 9-8 (11 innings) and 6-5 (11 innings). The Bearcats earned the sweep by defeating Virginia Tech 2-1 in the finale.
Junior shortstop Paul Rufo earned America East Player of the Week honors last week for his performance in Blacksburg, Va. last weekend. Rufo hit .476 for the series ,producing 10 hits and six RBI. Five of the RBI came in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday. Rufo is batting .395 this season with eight RBI.
The Bearcats are batting .308 as a team and infielder Justin Yurchak is batting .545 (24 hits in 44 at bats) with an on-base percentage of .608.
On the mound, Joe Orlando (2-0) has yet to allow an earned run in 11 innings pitched and Nick Gallagher has allowed just three earned runs in 15 innings pitched (1.80 ERA).
Delaware is 5-0 all-time against Binghamton after the Blue Hens swept a four game series against the Bearcats in 2016. UD is 3-0 all-time against Wagner. The team's last meeting was 1983.
Game One (vs. Wagner)- RHP James Meeker (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Lauk (0-0, 5.40 ERA)
Game Two (vs. Binghamton)- LHP Brandon Walter (0-3, 3.00 ERA) vs. TBA
Game Three (vs. Wagner)- LHP Kevin Milley (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. RHP Danny Marsh (1-0, 0.90 ERA)
Game Four (vs. Binghamton)- RHP Nick Spadafino (1-0, 7.62 ERA) vs. TBA
Please note that due to multiple events taking place on the Delaware Athletics campus on Saturday, March 11, there will be high traffic and visitors are asked to please park in the designated lot shown HERE.
MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Andrew Stern | Anwstern@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-6519 | Cell: 914-589-9666