Delaware Gets Back to CAA Action with Three Game Series at Towson
April 14, 2011
File Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
TOWSON, Md. - - After having five days off the field because of a rain soaked week, the first place University of Delaware baseball team returns to Colonial Athletic Association action on Friday, as they travel the short distance to battle Towson at John B. Schuerholz Park.
Last Time Out:
Delaware (18-14, 10-5 CAA) hasn’t played a game since Sunday, as the Liberty Bell Classic Final against Villanova at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was postponed on Tuesday and Wednesday due to wet field conditions. The originally scheduled contest against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday was pushed back a week, and will now be played on April 20 at Campbell’s Field in Camden, N.J.
The Blue Hens are coming off another successful weekend in the CAA, taking two of three games from UNC Wilmington at Brooks Field. It was the team’s fourth CAA series win this season, after only taking three series in the conference all of last season. They took over sole possession of first place in the standings by taking the first two games of the series, and watching as James Madison dropped two of three to Georgia State.
Delaware won the first two games of the series before dropping Sunday’s contest, and a chance to sweep, with a 5-1 defeat. But the story of the weekend in the two wins was the power of the long ball, as the Hens used four home runs to take game one, and a game winning home run from DJ Long (above right) on Saturday in the top of the ninth to win the series.
All seven runs on Friday came from the home run, as Steve Ulaky’s blast in the fourth proved to be the game winner in the 7-1 victory. Aaron Mascoe hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot, in the fifth, while Nick Ferdinand homered to left field for his third homerun of the season and the 5-0 lead. Hank Yates finished the scoring for the Hens with a two run blast to left for his third of the year.
On Saturday, after giving up a 4-0 lead, DJ Long rescued the visitors by hitting his first home run of the season in the top of the ninth inning, putting the Blue Hens back on top, 6-5. With one out, Long took a 2-0 pitch to right center, setting up Steve Richter for the save opportunity.
Delaware is a game ahead of James Madison, William & Mary and Old Dominion in the standings coming into this weekend.Delaware is fourth in the standings in team pitching with a 4.54 ERA, and are sixth in the CAA in team batting, hitting .272 on the year.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotation:
• Friday: RHP Eric Young (4-2, 3.68 ERA, 8 games, 8 starts, 44 IP, 19 SO’s) vs. RHP Brandon Gonnella (1-2, 6.32 ERA, 8 games, 5 starts, 31.1 IP, 10 SO’s)
• Saturday: RHP Danny Gatto (1-2, 3.49 ERA, 7 games, 6 starts, 28.1 IP, 15 SO’s) vs. RHP Michael Trionfo (1-5, 6.47 ERA, 9 games, 8 starts, 40.1 IP, 16 SO’s)
• Sunday: RHP Chad Kuhl (1-3, 5.09 ERA, 8 games, 6 starts, 35.1 IP, 31 SO’s) vs. RHP Charlie Cononie (4-2, 3.40 ERA, 9 games, 8 starts, 50.1 IP, 64 SO’s)
Towson (13-18-1, 7-8 CAA) sits in eighth place in the standings coming into this weekend and also hasn’t played since Sunday because of the rain. They were scheduled to play George Washington on Wednesday in Arlington, Va., but it was postponed due to the weather. They last won on Sunday, defeating Old Dominion, 5-2, but lost the series by dropping the first two games of the weekend.
Over the last 11 games, the Tigers have been playing very close games. In the last 11 contests, one run has decided five of them and two have been two-run decisions. Three other games have been three-run decisions. The Tigers enter the weekend series with a five-game home winning streak.
As a team, Towson ranks tenth in team batting, hitting .255 overall in 32 games. On the other side of the ball, they are eighth in team pitching with a 5.08 team ERA. Teams are hitting .284 off the Tigers’ staff. Defensively, the Tigers are second in the CAA bolstering a .967 fielding percentage.
Individually, Chris Wychock is tied for third in the conference with 13 doubles. Steve Rice has three triples on the season, well enough for a tie for fourth. Charlie Cononie, the staff’s ace, is second in the league with 64 strikeouts, 11.44 strikeouts per game.
Andrew Parker and Wychock are batting .303 to lead the regulars for Towson. Wychock has 13 doubles, five home runs and 20 RBI’s on the season while Parker has hit 11 doubles, 1 triple and one home run. Austin Harclerode is tied with Wychock for the team lead with 20 RBI’s.
Out of Left Field:
• Delaware leads the all-time series over the close rivals, 73-31. Playing in their 105th game against each other on Friday, the series dates back to 1971 and have gone through two different conference changes together before settling in the CAA; the East Coast Conference and America East. In 1988, Towson defeated Delaware to win the ECC Championship before Delaware took the 1999 and 2011 America East crowns from Towson. Delaware has won two of three in the series the past two seasons.
• Delaware has now had three freshmen capture at least a share of the CAA Rookie of the Week award as Danny Gatto brought home the award this past week after dominating UNC Wilmington. He pitched six innings of four hit ball, striking out six batters in the no decision. EJ Stoltzfus (below right) was last week’s award winner, and Chad Kuhl has also won the award earlier in the season.
• 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. Nick Ferdinand and Pat Dameron have hit a walk-off homerun this season, both three run shot to end the game. Dameron ended the 10-7 game against George Mason in the 11th while Ferdinand finished off Temple in the 10th, 15-12.
• 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