NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware baseball team used a five-run sixth inning to defeat La Salle University, 8-4 Tuesday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.

Freshman Winston Allen (2-0) threw 3.1 shutout innings in relief of Blue Hens start Cole Benjamin to earn the victory, which is Delaware’s (29-23) fourth in a row.  

Four Blue Hens contributed multiple hits, including freshman Ben Werkheiser who hit his second home run of the season. Outfielders Calvin Scott and Kyle Baker each went 2-4 with a pair of runs batted in for Delaware.

La Salle (14-38) struck first Tuesday afternoon when Brian Dudeck cleared the wall in right-center for a three-run home run. Delaware loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first but couldn’t score.

After a scoreless top of the second by Benjamin, the Blue Hens went to work in the home half of the second, tying the game at three.

Werkheiser led off the frame with a long home run to left, and Austin Niggebrugge followed with a single. Second baseman Erik Bowren worked a walk, and Kevin Mohollen was hit with a pitch to load the bases.

After a Baker sac-fly made it 3-2 La Salle, Nick Patten worked a walk, loading the bases for Tyler Callender. Callender lifted a deep drive to left for a sac-fly that tied the game.

The game remained 3-3 until the bottom of the sixth when Delaware put the game away for good. After Mohollen doubled with one-out, Baker followed with a single that gave Delaware a 4-3 advantage with one-out in the inning. With two outs in the inning, Callender prolonged the inning, reaching on a two-base error.

Granted new life with a pair of runners in scoring position, Scott singled home Baker and Callender to give Delaware a 6-3 lead. After Jordan Hutchins singled, Werkheiser worked a walk to load the bases for Niggebrugge, who walked to force in a run. The Blue Hens made it 8-3 one batter later when Bowren worked a walk.

Senior Matt Hornich worked the seventh, allowing one run, while junior Clay Conaway contributed a pair of scoreless innings to preserve the victory.

The victory improves Delaware to a season-best six games over .500 with just three games remaining. Delaware returns to action Thursday afternoon against Northeastern. First pitch from Bob Hannah Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Head coach Jim Sherman: 

“Give La Salle credit, they came out of the gate quickly, scoring the three runs right away, but it was good to see our guys battle back. I thought Benjamin just wasn’t locating early on in the game, and he was missing up in the strike zone. He made a little adjustment and was better over the last two innings. We wanted him to finish the third, but he was around the pitch count that we had allotted him for the game, so we decided to make the move. Winston came in and did a good job for us, followed by Hornich and Conaway. We started to hit the ball a little bit and put together some better at-bats as the game went on. We had that big five-run sixth inning, where we worked all good at-bats. I thought Ben did a good job today behind the plate with his catching. We let him call a few pitch sequences throughout the game to see how he would handle it, and he did a good job. He has a bit of pop in his bat, which you saw today when he hit his second home run of the season. He’s starting to develop into a pretty good D-I catcher for us. We’re fortunate to have two freshmen developing at that position. Today’s victory gives us momentum heading into the weekend. We just want to keep winning games and go into the playoffs on a good note.”

 HEN SCRATCHINGS:
• Delaware swept the season series against La Salle.
• The Blue Hens improved to 18-9 this season at home. • UD improves to 28-18 this season in day games.
• Delaware is now 19-2 when scoring six runs or more in a game and improved to 23-4 when they out-hit an opponent.
• Baker raised his batting average to .346. The outfielder recorded his eighth multiple-RBI RBI game of the season and his 22nd multiple-hit game of the year.
• Mohollen extended his hitting streak to six games and his on-base streak to 10. The junior scored his 44th run of the season.
• The centerfielder raised his batting average to .304 for the season with his 2-4 performance today. By reaching base three times he raised his on-base .426 for the season.
• Patten raised his on-base percentage to .395 this season.
• Werkheiser's home run was the second of his career.