Blue Hensí Offense Gets Hot, but William & Mary Completes Sweep of CAA Baseball Doubleheader
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – The University of Delaware bats heated up by late afternoon, but it wasn’t enough for the Blue Hen baseball squad to salvage a split with host William & Mary in the Colonial Athletic Association opener Friday at Plumeri Park.
Williams & Mary (18-7, 2-0 CAA) used a three-run inning in the opener to post a 5-4 victory, then banged out 14 hits in the nightcap to win 13-10 and sweep Delaware (10-14, 0-2 CAA) in the doubleheader.
The teams will be off Saturday before returning to action Sunday for the third and final game of the weekend series.
In the opener, a three-run fifth inning highlighted by a two-run home run from the Tribe’s Ryan Lindemuth gave William & Mary its first lead and put the game out of reach.
“It was a tough day,” Manager Jim Sherman said. “We played well enough to at least get a split, but losing both games was disappointing. Our offense was pretty good today, but out pitching had a rough second game.”
Despite losing his fourth game of the year, Delaware senior Dan Gatto (3-4) still managed to pitch a complete game. The right-hander gave up four earned runs on 10 hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.
The Blue Hens were led offensively by Norm Donkin and Ryan Hartley. Donkin, a first-year transfer from Harford (Md.) Community College, recorded two hits and added to his team lead in runs scored (14) and stolen bases (7).
Hartley hit his third home run of the year, which gave Delaware a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. The Blue Hens added another run in the fifth on a Joe Giacchino single which scored E.J. Stoltzfus.
For the third game in a row, Delaware launched a late-inning rally. In the ninth inning, Alex Mottle pinch-hit and doubled to score Zach Lopes and put the tying run in scoring position with no one out. The Blue Hens, however, were unable to get another hit as Hartley and Tyler Powell each struck out and Ty Warrington lined out to end the game.
Despite putting up double-digit runs for the first time in seven games and banging out 15 hits in the nightcap, the Hens could not keep up with the firepower of William & Mary and fell 13-10.
Delaware jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning on the strength of Stoltzfus’ first home run of the season and doubles from Lopes and Mottle. But the lead would not hold up as the Tribe scored four runs in the third, seven in the fourth, and two more in the fifth to take an 11-5 advantage.
Delaware redshirt freshman pitcher Chad Martin gave up only one hit in the first two innings, but gave up four runs in the third and was unable to get through the fourth after giving up another four earned runs.
Martin was relieved by freshman John Geffre after just 3.1 innings and suffered his second loss of the season. Geffre pitched out of the inning and junior Luke Alicknavitch pitched the remaining four innings for Delaware.
Delaware did make a valiant comeback, but five runs in the seventh inning were not enough.
Mottle and Donkin provided the fuel for the Blue Hen attack. Donkin had another three hits and notched his team-leading ninth double of the year. The right fielder had five total hits in the doubleheader. Mottle had three hits in the second game, knocked in two runs, and scored two more runs of his own.
Senior Jake Clark led the Blue Hens with three RBI while fellow senior Cameron Travalini knocked in two runs for Delaware in the second game.