Blue Hens Rally from Five-Run Deficit with Nine Runs in Final Two Innings to Defeat Towson 14-10
TOWSON, Md. - The University of Delaware baseball squad exploded for nine runs in the final two innings to overcome a five-run deficit and defeat host Towson 14-10 Friday in a Colonial Athletic Association battle at Schuerholz Park.
After managing just five runs over the first seven innings, the Delaware bats caught fire late as the Hens (22-22, 8-7 CAA) scored three runs in the eighth inning and added six more in the ninth to pull out the win and move into sole possession of third place in the CAA standings. The 14 runs scored by Delaware were the most for the Blue Hens since April 9.
The two teams will face each other again Saturday at 2 p.m. and close out the three-game set Sunday at 1 p.m.
Delaware batted around in the ninth inning to take control of the game as Alex Mottle, Jake Clark, and Nick Liggett each drove in a run and catcher Ty Warrington punctuated the comeback with a three-run home run to rightfield to push the lead to 14-10.
Taylor Mahoney picked up his first victory of the season for the Blue Hens by getting the final two outs in the eighth inning and closer Luke Alicknavitch finished off the win with a scoreless ninth inning. Brandon Gonnella took the loss for Towson.
Blue Hens starter Dan Gatto gave up seven earned runs on nine hits in six innings as the senior and was credited with a no-decision.
The Tigers (20-25, 2-13 CAA) drew first blood with a four-run second inning. Kurt Wertz led off the inning with his team-leading ninth home run of the year. Pat Fitzgerald then batted in a run with an RBI single. Gonnella capped off the Tiger scoring in the inning with a two-run double.
The four runs in the second inning were the most runs Gatto had given up in an inning since he gave up four runs in the second inning against Bryant on March 21.
The Blue Hens answered the Tigers’ scoring barrage with a three-run third inning, which was highlighted by an RBI double from E.J. Stoltzfus.
After Towson added another run in the third, the Blue Hens scored a run in the fourth inning on a Doug Trimble groundout and tied the game in the sixth inning on Ryan Hartley’s team-leading fifth home run of the year.
The Tigers seemingly put the game out of reach with a five-run seventh inning. Dominic Fratantuono broke the tie with a solo home run and Hunter Bennett knocked in two more runs on a double to right field. Fitzgerald knocked in the fifth and final run of the inning on an RBI single.
But Delaware answered mightily in the eighth and ninth innings. A three-run home run by Clark, his second of the season, pulled the Hens to within 10-8 after eight innings and the Hens followed with six more in the ninth to take control.
Delaware loaded the bases in the ninth on singles by EJ Stoltzfus and Norm Donkin and a hit by pitch by Zach Lopes. Alex Mottle brought a run home on a sacrifice fly and Clark was able to beat out a potential game-ending double play as Donkin scored from third base for the tying run.
After Hartley reached on an error, Liggett batted in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. Warrington then put an exclamation point on the comeback with a three-run home run to put the game out of reach.
Joe Giacchino went 1-for-4 on the day and has now reached base safely in 22 consecutive games. Hartley led the Blue Hens with three hits on the day, while Clark registered a team-high four RBI.
Wertz finished with a team-high three hits for Towson, while five different Tiger batters accounted for two RBI each.