BALTIMORE, Md. – Brock Niggebrugge’s two-run single in the ninth inning provided the insurance runs needed for University of Delaware baseball team in a 6-3 victory over UMBC in a non-conference contest Tuesday night at UMBC’s Baseball Factory Field.
Delaware (23-8) increased its winning streak to 13 games on the season while UMBC dropped its second game of the season to the Hens and fell to 8-15 on the year.
“This was a set-up game for us,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “A mid-week game on the road with us playing so much at home and this being the second time we’ve played each other this season, I knew that UMBC would play us hard tonight.”
Trailling 1-0, the Blue Hens knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning on a Nick Ferdinand RBI single. UD would add a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning led by a runs-scoring single by Niggebrugge. In the seventh inning, Ferdinand’s RBI double made the score 4-2. Delaware would drive in a final two runs came on Niggebrugge’s two-out single to right field.
“Niggebrugge got a huge hit for us in the ninth inning that really widened the gap,” said Sherman. “His hitting streak is all due to the fact he is hitting the ball on the ground and that is leading to all these base hits.”
Niggebrugge extended his hitting streak to 12 games after the shortstop went 3-for-5 with three RBI and one run scored.
The Blue Hens tallied 13 base hits in the game and could have scored more runs as they left 13 men left on the bases. Jimmy Yezzo extended his NCAA-leading on-base streak to 43 games with a single in the first inning and went 3-for-5 with one run scored. Ferdinand also added three hits with two RBI. Joe Giacchino tallied a base knock and kept his hitting streak alive at nine games.
Delaware’s Dan Gatto (2-1) held the Retreivers to two earned runs on three hits and four strikeouts in five innings on the mound for his second win of the season.
Eric Buckland tossed three scoreless innings of relief and held UMBC to two hits, two walks and one strikeout for his third save on the year.
The Retrievers tallied seven hits in the loss as Brandon Coluccio and Jake Barnes led UMBC with two hits apiece. Kevin LaChance hammered his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the bottom of the fourth inning.
UMBC starter Riley Stephenson (1-5) suffered the loss after he was charged with four earned runs on 11 hits, one walk and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings pitched.
The Blue Hens travel to Wilmington, N.C. and will play the UNCW Seahawks in a three-game weekend Colonial Athletic Association series beginning on Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at UNCW’s Brooks Field.
Delaware will hand the ball to right-hander Chad Kuhl (5-1, 3.59 earned-run average) in the series opener against the Seahawks.
“Chad wasn’t happy about his last outing and we expect him to return to form for an important start against UNCW,” said Sherman.