Martin Flirts with No-Hitter, Blue Hens Bang Out 14 Hits to Down Rider 11-1 in Series Finale
BEL AIR, Md. -- University of Delaware starter Chad Martin flirted with a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Blue Hens banged out 14 hits and scored four runs in two separate innings to defeat Rider 11-1 in non-league baseball action Sunday at Harford Community College.
Martin, a redshirt freshman from Darnestown, Md. (Quince Orchard HS), did not allow a hit over the first six innings and retired the first two batters in the seventh before Rider's Justin Thomas clouted a home run to dead center field to break up the no-hit and shutout bid.
The Blue Hens (6-7) won their second straight game and inched closer to .500 as they took the series from Rider after falling in the opener 4-1 on Friday. The Broncs managed just two hits and fell to 3-8 on the season.
Martin (2-1) went seven full innings, allowing just two hits and one run while striking out seven batters. Luke Alicknavitch came in to close out the win with two perfect innings of relief. Martin was trying to become the first Delaware pitcher to hurl a no-hitter since the 2005 season. He set the Broncs down in order in the third, fifth, and sixth innings and retired the first two batters in the seventh before the blast by Thomas.
"It was nice to get this series after losing the first one," said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman, who now needs just three wins to reach 400 for his career at Delaware. "Our guys really played well today. Chad pitched with great poise and understanding and attacked the hitters. We got good hitting from (Joe) Giacchino and (EJ) Stoltzfus at the top of the order. Overall it was a great day."
Delaware scored 11 runs for the second straight day and matched a season-high for hits. The Hens used a four-run sixth inning to go up 7-0 and added four more in the eighth inning to extend the lead. After managing just three hits Friday in the 4-1 loss to Rider, the Hens have now scored 11 runs in consecutive games for the first time since mid-April of last year.
Third baseman EJ Stoltzfus went 3 for 4 and knocked in three runs, centerfielder Joe Giacchino went 2 for 4 with two triples and three RBI, and shortstop Brock Niggebrugge had two hits, scored twice, and knocked in another run.
Giacchino led off the first inning with a triple for Delaware and then scored on a groundout by Stoltzfus and Alex Mottle added a run-scoring double to put the Hens up 2-0 after just one inning. The Hens added a single run in the fifth and then put up four in the sixth as Niggebrugge knocked in one run, Giacchino brought two runs home with his second triple of the day, and Stoltzfus added an RBI single.
Delaware added on to the score with four more runs in the eighth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Giacchino, an RBI single by Stoltzfus, and a run-scoring single from Tyler Powell.
The Hens will return to action March 11 at Maryland and March 12 at La Salle before hosting Fairfield for three games this weekend at Harford CC.