Blue Hens One Swing, One Foul Ball Away from the Sweep, Fall to James Madison in the Tenth, 12-11
April 24, 2011
Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell (top) and Chris Mlynarczyk
NEWARK, Del. - - The University of Delaware baseball team battled back from an early deficit, forcing extra innings, but couldn’t find the final go-ahead run as James Madison stole game three, 12-11 in 10 innings, at Bob Hannah Stadium on Sunday afternoon in Colonial Athletic Association action.
Pat Dameron (above right) tied it with a three-run home run in the sixth, and DJ Long almost walked-off with a home run in the tenth for Delaware (22-17, 13-8 CAA). Long’s blast in the bottom of the tenth, with the team down one and two men on base, barely hooked foul but had the distance to land over the fence.
“I knew it was hooking,” head coach Jim Sherman said as he watched from the third base coaches box. “I have as good a view as anyone down the line. So I could see the hook the whole way, so I knew it wasn’t going to stay fair. We were one swing away. I’m happy how the guys came back today.”
James Madison (27-14, 12-9 CAA) salvaged the final game of the series by using a seven run third inning to vault them in a solid position for the rest of the game. But the resilient Blue Hens pushed the game to extra innings. Cole McInturff doubled down the left field line to lead off the tenth, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored a batter later on a sacrifice fly for the game-winner.
The Blue Hens banged out 16 hits, but committed four errors on the afternoon, three of which came in the seven run third inning.
Trailing quickly after the top of the first, the Blue Hens responded with back-to-back doubles by Long and Dameron for the first run, and a two run shot from Nick Ferdinand.
Anderson and Aaron Mascoe added to the early lead in the second, starting the inning with back-to-back solo home runs.
But the Dukes responded in the third, first off Delaware starter Chad Kuhl. With one out, the Dukes got base hits from the next four batters, scoring two runs. They loaded the bases with a hit by pitch, still with one out, as Mascoe attempted to throw behind the Eric Scott at first, but an arrant throw allowed two more runs to cross.
After walking Bradley Shaban, Kuhl received the ball back from Mascoe and tossed the ball into the dugout, thinking time was called, looking for a new baseball to start the next batter. But the home plate umpire said time was never called, and the ball was still live, going out of bounds and advancing the runners. Scott came home on the play.
Now trailing 9-5, the home team bounced back and scored two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and Dameron eventually tied it at 11-11 with his home run in the sixth.
Playing with a heavy heart, Dameron finished 2-for-6 with four RBI’s, and two runs scored. The team held a moment of silence prior to the game in honor of his aunt who suddenly passed away earlier in the week.
Dave Anderson (below right) and Chris Branigan led the Blue Hens with three hits apiece, as Anderson added his fifth home run of the year. Branigan, who has been battling leg injuries all season, hit his first two doubles of the season, knocking in a pair while going 3-for-4.
Jimmy Yezzo came on to pinch hit in the fifth, and promptly sent the first pitch he saw over the wall in right for his first home run of his career.
Even with the loss today, Delaware got what it was looking for by winning the first two games of the series. “That was our goal,” Sherman said of the series win.
“Our goal every weekend is to win the series and we accomplished that. We didn’t play well in the third inning and that was the backbreaker for us. But our kids were resilient; they hung in there. We had the right guy at the plate (in the tenth), I felt good. It just kind of worked out for them. We were one swing away from winning it today.”
The Blue Hens will have a chance to get back to their winning ways on Tuesday, as they host Rutgers for a nonconference matchup at 3 p.m.
James Madison… 2 0 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 – 12 13 0
Delaware…….… 3 2 0 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 – 11 16 4
E – Long (9); Mascoe 2 (4); Kuhl (1). DP – JMU 1. LOB – JMU 8. Delaware 6. 2B – Herbek 2 (17); McInturff (7); Long (14); Dameron (16); Anderson (5); Branigan 2 (2). HR – Dameron (3); Ferdinand (5); Yezzo (1); Anderons (5); Mascoe (2). HBP – Tenaglie; Scott. SH – Mottle (1). SF – Bladel 3 (7); McFarland (1). SB – McInturff (15). CS – Ulaky (3).
Win – DJ Brown (6-1). Loss – Steve Richter (3-1). Save – None.Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive