A Pair Of Second Place Teams Match Up as Delaware Takes on James Madison at Bob Hannah Stadium
April 21, 2011
Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell (bottom) and Dan Lauletta
NEWARK, Del. - - Another pivotal weekend approaches the University of Delaware baseball team, as they welcome James Madison to Bob Hannah Stadium starting on Friday for a battle between a pair of Colonial Athletic Association teams tied in second place.
Last Time Out:
Delaware (20-16, 11-7 CAA) finally was able to play a midweek non-conference on Wednesday night, as they have been washed out due to rain the past two weeks. They traveled to Camden, N.J. and took on Saint Joseph’s at Campbell’s Field, evening the season series with a 5-3 victory under the lights.
Eric Buckland got his first start of the season and made the most of it, not allowing a hit until the fourth inning. He only gave one up hit in five innings of work, allowing an unearned run on a sacrifice fly in the third. Buckland struck out four Hawks on his way to earning his second victory of the season (2-0).
Hank Yates finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, leading the Blue Hen offense as the only batter to have two hits. Pat Dameron (above right) doubled in the third, counting for the only extra base hit of the evening. DJ Long (above left), Dameron and Steve Ulaky would all come around to score in the three-run inning, giving more than enough for Buckland in the early stages of the contest.
The Hawks pushed single runs across in the third, seventh and eight, but a key line-drive double play with runners on first and second and one out in the seventh, got the Blue Hens out of danger and secured the lead. They tacked on another in the eighth with three singles, but Jeff Murray got out of the jam with a fielder’s choice and strike out to end the inning.
Closer Steve Richter came on in the ninth and promptly got the first two batters out on six pitches. But a walk and single encouraged head coach Jim Sherman to come talk to his right-handed sophomore and Richter responded by getting the next batter to hit into a fielder’s choice for his seventh save of the year.
The Blue Hens are currently eighth in the CAA in overall team batting average, hitting .269 in 36 games. But their pitching has moved back into the third slot, posting a 4.45 ERA, just behind VCU and Northeastern.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotation:
• Friday – RHP Eric Young (4-2, 4.50 ERA, 9 games, 9 starts, 48 IP, 23 SO) vs. LHP Sean Tierney (6-1, 5.47 ERA, 11 games, 1 start, 24.2 IP, 18 SO)
• Saturday – RHP Danny Gatto (1-3, 3.78 ERA, 8 games, 7 starts, 33.1 IP, 16 SO) vs. RHP Evan Scott (2-2, 5.48 ERA, 9 games, 9 starts, 47.2 IP, 36 SO)
• Sunday – RHP Chad Kuhl (1-4, 4.79 ERA, 9 games, 7 starts, 41.1 IP, 37 SO) vs. LHP Alex Valadja (4-3, 7.66 ERA, 11 games, 10 starts, 51.2 IP, 36 SO)
Scouting James Madison:
The Dukes (26-12, 11-7 CAA) are in the middle of an eight game road trip, but have won three of four of the games already. They are coming off a 6-1 victory on Tuesday at Maryland as nine separate pitchers combined to only give up four hits. The four hits and the one run allowed by the Dukes’ pitching staff each matched season lows. The Dukes have a strangle hold on almost every offensive category in the CAA, having at least one player in the top three in 15 of the 16 individual offensive categories in the conference.
David Herbek is in the top three in batting average (.386), slugging percentage (.771), runs scored (42), hits (59), RBI’s (56), doubles (14), home runs (13) and total bases (118). Teammate Jake Lowry not only tops the CAA marks, but he is leading the NCAA in runs per game (1.43), runs (53), RBI’s (62), slugging percentage (.873), and total bases (137). He is also second in the country in home runs with 17.
As a team James Madison is first in the country in eight difference offensive categories (scoring, runs, hits, home runs per games, home runs, slugging percentage, stolen bases per game, stolen bases) and in the top ten in seven other categories. They are scoring 10.2 runs per game, just ahead of New Mexico State and Temple.
The Dukes are first in the CAA with a team batting average of .332, but are second from last with a 6.42 team ERA.
Out in Left Field:
• Friday will be the 34th meeting between the two schools, as JMU hold a 19-14 advantage coming into this weekend. The Dukes Swept the Blue Hens last season, and have won nine of the last 10 games.
• Pat Dameron’s double against Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday night continued his stretch of reaching base at least once in every game this season. April 10 against UNC Wilmington, he reached on a fielder’s choice, and he was hit by a pitch on February 26 against Arizona State marking the only games where he did not get a hit or a walk to reach.
• Dave Anderson (below right) etched his name in the record book last weekend at Towson, belting three home runs in Friday’s 16-7 victory. He became the 20th player in Blue Hen history to hit three home runs in a game, matching the feat by fellow seniors Steve Ulaky and Pat Dameron.
• 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 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 and was named a “Louisville Slugger’s” National Co-Player of the Week on March 28. His two homeruns in the same inning against Delaware State 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. He added to his homerun totals in his first at-bat against Temple in the next game making it five in five games.
• 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