Tied in Second Place, Delaware Returns to CAA Action with a Three Game Set at VCU
April 28, 2011
Photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - Log jammed at the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings, the University of Delaware baseball team takes to Richmond for a three game set with eighth place Virginia Commonwealth starting on Friday night.
Last Time Out:
Delaware (23-18, 13-8 CAA) lost their chance at repeating at the Liberty Bell Classic Championship on Wednesday, as errors and too little too late offense marred the comeback effort, 7-6, at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
EJ Stoltzfus and DJ Long (above right) stretched their hitting streaks to seven straight games in the loss, as Stoltzfus led all hitters by going 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI’s and a run scored. On the season, he is now 28-for-66, hitting a team high .424 in 25 games. He has recently become a permanent starter at third base, starting in six straight and 13 of the teams last 18 games.
Long finished 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Pat Dameron (below right) added his team leading 18th double of the season, launching a drive to the warning track in left center and watching it bounce into the seats for a ground-rule double. The hard bounce became an unlucky one for Dameron, as Long was rounding third and would have scored easily, but he had to return to third, wiping an RBI off the board for Dameron.
Chris Branigan has returned nicely after an early season leg injury that has hampered his playing time. Over his past two games, Branigan has hit three doubles, going 4-for-8 with two RBI’s and a run scored.
The Blue Hens saw their last two starting pitchers get knocked out of the game on come backers, as Eric Buckland and Nick Young each had one in back-to-back games this week. Young’s came in the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Young had a one hopper come off his right side; he was able to recover and collect the ball but his throw was wide of first base and into foul territory, allowing all three runs to come around to score.
Prior to yesterday’s loss to Villanova, Delaware was ranked 77 in RPI, according to boydsworld.com, the top team in the CAA.
Coming into the weekend series, the Blue Hens are tied with Old Dominion in second place in the CAA standings, only a half game behind the leading UNC Wilmington Seahawks. Delaware is fifth in the CAA in team ERA, holding a 4.48 average in 41 games. They stay put in seventh with a .276 hitting average on the season.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotations:
• Friday: RHP Eric Young (4-2, 4.36 ERA, 10 games, 10 starts, 53.2 IP, 27 SO) vs. RHP Seth Cutler-Voltz (1-5, 4.75 ERA, 10 games, 10 starts, 66.1 IP, 49 SO)
• Saturday: RHP Danny Gatto (1-3, 4.17 ERA, 9 games, 8 starts, 36.2 IP, 18 SO) vs. RHP Kyle Haynes (4-5, 3.42 ERA, 10 games, 10 starts, 55.1 IP, 42 SO)
• Sunday: TBA vs. RHP David Benson (3-2, 4.74 ERA, 10 games 9 starts, 49.1 IP 50 SO)
Virginia Commonwealth (16-22, 8-10 CAA) losing its past two CAA series, and going 4-6 in its last ten games. The Rams could only get to the middle of the second inning on Tuesday against top ranked Virginia before rain suspended the contest.
Last weekend, they salvaged the series from William & Mary in the final game of the weekend, winning 8-6 in Williamsburg. Leading 8-0 early in the contest the Rams tried to give it away, allowing the Tribe to score six unanswered runs and bring the tying run to plate in the ninth before VCU escaped with the victory.
John Lenherr is second in the CAA, batting .389 on the season, going 58-for-149 with nine doubles, four triples and two home runs. He is also fourth in the conference in stole bases, successfully swiping 16 bags in 18 attempts.
Taylor Perkins has a team high 30 RBI’s on the season, batting .316 in 36 starts. Nick Kime has team high four home runs on the season, knocking in 19 runs while batting .314 in 102 at-bats.
Kyle Haynes leads all regular starters with a 3.42 earned run average, going 4-5 on the season in 10 starts. David Benson leads the pitching staff with 50 strikeouts, followed closely by Seth Cutler-Voltz who has picked up 49. Brenna Huelse and Jonathan Watson have the most appearances with 19 each, as Huelse has a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings. Watson is 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 28 innings, all out of the bullpen.
As a team, VCU sits in fifth in team batting average, hitting at a .288 clip. They are third in team ERA, just ahead of Delaware with a 4.38 earned run average.
Out in Left Field:
• Friday marks the 35th meeting between the two school, with Delaware leading the series 19-15. The first matchup dates back to 1975 as the Blue Hens took six of the first seven meeting from 1975-77. Delaware has taken four straight in the series, and haven’t lost to VCU since the CAA tournament in 2007.
• Pat Dameron now has 232 career hits as a Blue Hen, ranking him tied for 17th on the all-time list with Tom Skrable (1983-86), Brad Eyman (1995-98), and Chris Kolodzey (1998-01). Scott Waibel (1977-80) is the only Blue Hen player to have over 300 career hits (303), leading the program. He is the 34th player to reach 200 career hits.
• Pat Dameron’s three RBI’s Tuesday gave him 154 for his career. He is approaching putting his name in the top 15 on the all-time RBI list in Delaware program history. Brad Eyman sits in 15th with 156. Scott Waibel holds the all-time record with 231 career RBI’s. Head coach Jim Sherman is second with 227.
• Pat Dameron’s double on Wednesday 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 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 home runs, 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. 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.
• 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.
• 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