Errors Hurt Delaware as Villanova Takes Liberty Bell Classic Championship, 7-6
April 27, 2011
Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
PHILADELPHIA - - The comeback fell short as the University of Delaware baseball team failed to repeat as champions in the 20th Annual Liberty Bell Classic, falling to Villanova, 7-6, at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday afternoon.
After two postponements of the final earlier this month, the two teams needed to wait 40 minutes more to take the field to start the game. But once the first pitch was thrown, the skies cleared in Philadelphia and allowed the championship to finally be played. The Blue Hens were looking for their eighth Liberty Bell Classic Championship overall since the inception of the tournament in 1992.
Although the Blue Hens made another late charge with the bats, it was the defense that failed Delaware (23-18 overall) early. The Hens made three errors on the game, but could have gotten away with a win with only two errors.
The costly error came in the second, on a one hopper back to the mound. And for the second game in a row, the opposing team knocked out the starting pitcher, this time in the second inning as a one hopper bounced off the right side of Nick Young. Villanova (15-24) scored three runs on the play, however, as Young recovered at first, found the ball and tried to get Steve Schrenk at first, but a wild throw got by Steve Ulaky, clearing the bases.
The teams traded runs in the third and fourth keeping it at a four run lead, 6-2. Delaware cut into the lead slightly with two runs in the fifth, but not before Villanova tallied another run in the top half.
DJ Long and Pat Dameron started things with a single and double, a ground-rule double over the fence in left center. Nick Ferdinand got the first RBI on a ground out and EJ Stoltzfus (above right) came through with two outs with his first double of the afternoon to the warning track in right field. Nick Stampone came on in the sixth and settled the defense and pitching staff down with back-to-back scoreless innings, allowing the home team to make its comeback.
And as they have done in the past two games, the Blue Hens retaliated to cut it to a one run game in the seventh. With one out in the inning, the Ulaky and Ferdinand hit back-to-back singles to put a runner in scoring position. Stoltzfus came through again for the Hens with his second double of the afternoon, bring in Ulaky. Anderson brought Delaware to within a run in the game with a sacrifice fly to centerfield, 7-6.
But that is as close as the Blue Hens would get on the scoreboard. They threatened again in the eighth and ninth by getting a runner on base each inning but it was with two outs and the runner didn’t get past first base.
Stoltzfus led all hitters on the afternoon, finishing 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI’s and one run scored. Long (below right) added two hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two walks. Matt Fleishman and Kevin Wager were the only Wildcats to record two hits on the afternoon.
Young was saddled with the loss, pitching an inning and a third while allowing four runs (one earned) on two hits. But the team could not get him off the hook, as he came out while trailing, and the Blue Hens never tied or took the lead. Kevin MacLachlan earned his second win of the season, pitching 5.2 innings, giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits.
Stampone and Corey Crispell pitched two innings each to close out the contest, not allowing a run and only one hit between the two to allow the Blue Hens to get back into the ball game.
Delaware gets back to Colonial Athletic Association action on Friday, as they travel to Virginia Commonwealth for the start of a three game set. The first pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Villanova… 1 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 – 7 9 2
Delaware… 0 0 1 1 2 0 2 0 – 6 10 3
E – Calbi 2 (17); Long (10); Stoltzfus (6); Young, N (2). DP – Delaware 1. LOB – Villanova 11; Delaware 9. 2B – Dameron (18); Stoltsfus 2 (3); Branigan (3). 3B – Rambaud (1); Wager (1); Yates (2). HBP – Koczirka 2; Wager. SH – Calbi (7); Erb 2 (3). SF – Anderson (2); Mascoe (2). SB – Wager (4).
Win – Kevin MacLachlan (2-5). Loss – Nick Young (1-2). Save – Mike Francisco (9).Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive