Clutch Hitting Sends Delaware Past James Madison, 5-4, in Key CAA Baseball Series
April 22, 2011
Photos courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk
NEWARK, Del. - - Two out base hits were key for the University of Delaware baseball team today, as they scored four of their five runs with two outs in the latter part of the game, defeating James Madison, 5-4, in a pivotal Colonial Athletic Association series at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Delaware (21-16, 12-7 CAA) and James Madison (26-13, 11-8 CAA) came into today’s game tied in second place, a half game behind conference leading UNC Wilmington. Delaware took the first step in winning their fifth conference series of the season, getting clutch hitting from Nick Ferdinand in the seventh and DJ Long (above right) and Pat Dameron (below right) in the eighth.
Trailing 2-1 heading into the last third of the ball game, the Blue Hens started their clutch performance with two outs and no body on base in the seventh. Dameron started things off by banging one half way up the fence just fair down the left field line for his first two out hit of the afternoon. After Steve Ulkay was intentionally walked, Ferdinand singled into right field, allowing Dameron to score the tying run as the throw was cut off.
The Blue Hens showed their ability to battle once again in the eighth. EJ Stoltzfus walked, and Aaron Mascoe singled to put two runners on with one out. Two batters and one out later, Long stepped in and took a 1-2 pitch and delivered the two-run double.
“He threw me a couple curveballs in a row and I actually thought he was going to try and throw a fast ball past me, but he hung another curveball and I was able to put it over the left fielder’s head,” the sophomore second baseman recalled.
But it was Dameron’s clutch performance that proved to be the game-winner. Following Long, Dameron singled up the middle, past the out stretched arms of a diving Bradley Shaban at second, scoring Long without a throw.
“I’m glad we beat them. I’m glad Patty (Dameron) singled after me to get one more, because that one turned out being clutch. We also have to make it interesting in the ninth inning but I don’t care as long as we win.”
The Dukes were able to make it a one run game in the ninth off a Jake Lowery two run home run that clanged off the scoreboard in right. It was Lowery’s NCAA leading 18th of the season. But Steve Richter bore down got Alex Foltz to fly out to right with the tying run on second to end the ball game.
Richter’s ninth wasn’t pretty, but he did help Delaware escape a dangerous jam in the top of the eighth. The Dukes put their first two runners on base, and loaded the bases with one out in the tie game. Richter came on to relieve Jeff Murray and struck Conner Brown out. He then got Ty McFarland to pop up to Ulaky at first to end the threat.
Starter Eric Young threw an effective 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out four Dukes on the before turning it over to the bullpen. Richter picked up the win, improving to 3-0 on the season.
Sean Tierney pitched 6.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits in the no decision for James Madison. DJ Brown took the loss, pitching the final 1.1 innings, giving up three runs on four hits.
Dameron, Ferdinand and Mascoe had two hits a piece for the Blue Hens, while Long led the way with two RBI’s. Ulaky made it a 2-1 ball game to lead off the third with his team leading 10th home run of the season, hitting one off the scoreboard in right.
“We only had one other big hit,” Long said about Ulaky's home run and the team’s early struggles. “We left the bases loaded; we were struggling early. We ended up getting the runs to win in the end. We have to win series here on out to make the playoffs. That’s everyone’s goal.”
The series resumes on Saturday, as the two teams meet again at Bob Hannah Stadium at 1 p.m. Danny Gatto will go for the Blue Hens while the Dukes will send Evan Scott to the mound to start.
James Madison… 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 – 4 12 1
Delaware………. 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 X – 5 10 1
E – Herbek (9); Stoltzfus (4). LOB – JMU 9; Delaware 10. 2B – Bladel (6); Lowery (15); Herbek (15); Haynes (6); Long (13); Dameron (14); Ferdinand (5). HR – Lowery (18); Ulaky (10). HBP – McFarlnad; Shaban. SF – Foltz (4). SB – Tenaglia (8); Dameron (5). CS – Bladel (6); Haynes (7).
Win – Steve Richter (3-0). Loss – DJ Brown (5-1). Save – None.Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive