Blue Hens Travel to UNC Wilmington for another CAA Series with First Place Implications
April 7, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
WILMINGTON, N.C. - - The University of Delaware baseball team remained in a tie for first place by taking two out of three from Georgia State last weekend at home, but hit the road for another pivotal Colonial Athletic Association first place showdown this weekend against UNC Wilmington. The three game set begins on Friday with a night contest starting at 6 p.m.
Last Time Out:
The Blue Hens moved one step closer to defending their Liberty Bell Classic title as they defeated Lehigh, 5-0, on Wednesday afternoon in Bethlehem, Pa.
The visitors used a heavy dose of pitching to get by the Patriot League foes, starting with Matt Soren who started and threw 5.1 innings, recording seven strikeouts while only allowing two hits. Lehigh only managed three hits on the day, becoming the first team the Blue Hens shutout since Towson on April 21 last season.
Corey Crispell relieved Soren in the sixth, but didn’t let off the gas, as he didn’t allow a base runner in 2.2 innings of work. He tallied one strikeout, four fly outs, and three groundouts in the eight batters he faced. After the Blue Hens put three runs on the board in the ninth, Crispell turned the ball over to Jeff Murray who finished off the Mountain Hawks with three more strikeouts. He allowed a two out, bases empty single, but came back and recorded the final out on an Austin Borden swing and miss.
Pat Dameron paced the Delaware offense finishing 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI’s and two runs scored. CAA Co-Rookie of the Week EJ Stoltzfus remained on fire as he went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI. DJ Long (above right) also went 3-for-5, hitting his team leading 11th double of the season, and scoring a run. The team totaled 14 hits.
As a team, Delaware is ranked seventh in the most updated CAA statistics in overall batting average, hitting .272 for the season. After Wednesday’s performance, Dameron came back into the top ten individually, sitting in fifth with a .385 average. On the other side of the ball, the Blue Hens are fourth in the conference in ERA, boasting a 4.65 team ERA after the shutout on Wednesday.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotation:
• Friday: RHP Eric Young (3-2, 4.17 ERA, 36.2 IP, 18 SO, 7 app., 7 starts) vs. RHP Daniel Cropper (4-0, 2.90 ERA, 40.1 IP, 38 SO’s, 6 app., 6 starts)
• Saturday: Danny Gatto (1-2, 4.43 ERA, 22.1 IP, 9 SO, 6 app., 5 starts) vs. RHP Blaze Tart (1-0, 3.07 ERA, 14.2 IP, 13 SO’s, 10 app., 0 starts)
• Sunday: RHP Chad Kuhl (below right) (1-2, 4.55 ERA, 29.2 IP, 26 SO, 7 app., 5 starts) vs. TBA
Scouting UNC Wilmington:
The Seahawks were idle last weekend and remained in a three-way tie atop the CAA standings with as both Delaware and James Madison took two out of three from their opponents. But, they come into this weekend losing two of their part three games overall and a 15-17 overall record, 6-3 in the CAA.
In their most recent contest, they dropped a 6-5 decision to the College of Charleston on Wednesday. After holding a 3-2 advantage heading into the fourth, the College of Charleston put a four spot on the board to take the lead for good. The Seahawks responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, but could not scratch another run to tie the ballgame.
Thomas Pope leads the Seahawks offensively, batting 4.13 in 92 at-bats. He is second on the team with 38 hits, while starting 24 of 27 games. He has six doubles, a triple and two homeruns while knocking in 23 RBI’s and scoring 19 times. Hunter Ridge leads the team with 25 hits, five homeruns and 27 RBI’s on the season. He is hitting .352 in 108 at-bats.
As a team, the Seahawks are third in the CAA in hitting, batting a combined .313 on the year, while their pitching is fifth with an overall ERA of 4.76. Matt Campbell and Pope sit in fifth and sixth, respectively, in the top overall individual batting category, while Daniel Cropper has the fifth best ERA in the conference.
Out of Left Field:
• EJ Stoltzfus was named a CAA Co-Rookie of the Week on Monday, April 4, after leading the Blue Hens to a 3-1 record, and taking two games from Georgia State to win the series. For the week, he batted 9-for-18 with three runs batted in and three runs scored. But he was even more impressive when it was most important, batting .538 (7-for-13) with two runs and two RBI’s over the weekend against the Panthers. He also was reliable in the field against the Panthers, adding six assists and four putouts in the key series with first place implications.
• The Blue Hens will try to defend their title at the Liberty Bell Classic final help at the Philadelphia Phillies home ballpark, Citizens Bank Park, on Tuesday, April 12 starting at 7:30 p.m. against Villanova. Delaware has won the LBC seven times in the history of the tournament, the most by any school in the 19-year history of the event.
• Ulaky went 7-for-14 with four homeruns, a double and nine RBI’s in four games last week and was named a “Louisville Slugger’s” National Co-Player of the Week. He added to his homerun totals in his first at-bat against Temple on Tuesday with a two-run shot to right, making it five in five games.
• The Blue Hens are now 4-0 this season in extra-inning affairs. Dating back to last season, they have won five straight extra-inning contests. Pat Dameron also hit a walk-off homerun this season, capping game one against George Mason with a three-run homerun in the 11th in a game that had to be continued the following day due to darkness.
• Although the team got off to a slow start with the new bat regulations mandated by the NCAA, Steve Ulaky powered through with an NCAA record tying performance against Delaware State on March 22. His two homeruns in the same inning tied an NCAA record, held by numerous players. His three homeruns in one game also tied a Delaware program record, as he became the 19th player in Blue Hen history to hit three jacks in a single contest. Ryan Cuneo and classmate Pat Dameron most recently did it in the same game last season, a 25-10 decision over Hofstra on May 8.
• Pat Dameron’s double with one out in the sixth on March 16 against Delaware State in the Route 1 Rivalry not only set up two crucial runs for the Hens, but it was also his 200th career hit. Dameron became the 34th player to join the 200 Hit Club, and currently has 206 career hits, placing him in 30th with over half a season to play. Scott Waibel holds the record with 303 hits during his time as a Blue Hen in 1977-80. Other notable names in the Club are head coach Jim Sherman and associate head coach Dan Hammer. Sherman stands in fifth with 261 career hits from 1979-82 while Hammer is right behind in sixth with 258 career hits during his time from 1993-96.
• The Blue Hens made the most of their trip to the west coast in February, knocking off the then ranked no. 9 Arizona State Sun Devils in the first game of the four-game series. The Blue Hens’ last win against a ranked team was in 2001 against no. 18 East Carolina. The victory over the Sun Devils marks the highest ranked opponent the Blue Hens have defeated since beating no. 8 North Carolina in the 1983 NCAA East Regional Baseball Tournament.Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive