Delaware Opens CAA Play with Home Series Against George Mason
March 10, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
Photo Order (top to bottom): Aaron Mascoe, Eric Young, Pat Dameron
NEWARK, Del. - - The University of Delaware diamond goers are looking to get back on track this weekend, as they open their 2011 Colonial Athletic Association schedule with a three-game bout against George Mason, starting on Friday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium. Game times for the weekend are 3 p.m. on Friday, and 1 p.m. for Saturday and Sunday.
Last Time Out:
The Blue Hens are amidst a four-game skip coming into this weekend’s CAA battle. This week, they fell to Maryland in College Park, Md. 8-0, extending their scoreless streak to straight innings.
The game was close into the seventh inning, as Blue Hen starter Dan Gatto only gave up one unearned run in the third to the Terrapins. But it was the seventh inning that broke the game open, as the Hens couldn’t recover, and gave up seven runs in the final two at bats to the home squad.
Gatto pitched four innings, giving up the lone unearned run in the third. He allowed our hits, striking out two batters, while walking two. He was saddled with his first loss, and first decision, as a Blue Hen. Nick Stampone came in and pitched a scoreless fifth, followed by a scoreless sixth by Michael O’Keeffe.
Matt Harden spelled O’Keeffe to start the seventh, but gave up three runs on two hits, recording only two outs before handing the ball over to Stephen Ritcher. Ritcher got out the inning, but not before giving up a bases clearing triple, with one of those runs accredited to him.
Richter allowed three more runs in the eighth, before giving way to Nick Ferdninand who retired the final two batters on a pair of fly outs.
Sophomore second baseman D.J. Long and senior catcher Aaron Mascoe led the Blue Hens offensively, each recording two hits on the afternoon. Long ended 2-for-4 while Mascoe went 2-for-3 with his team leading fifth double on the season.
On the season, Pat Dameron leads all Blue Hen hitters, batting 18-for-45 for a .400 average through the first 12 games of the season. He has hit four doubles, drove in eight runs and score six times. Mascoe is second on the team, batting .324 on the season, followed by Long who is hitting .320 in 50 at bats.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotation:
Friday’s matchup, should it happen with the rain in the tri-state area expected to last through Friday morning, will include two right-handed pitchers; Delaware’s Eric Young and Mason’s Ryan Pfaeffle.
Young has thrown extremely well this season for the Blue Hens and will be making his fourth start of the season already. He was the pitcher of record against #9 Arizona State, pitching five innings of three hit baseball, giving up two runs (one earned) while striking out two Sun Devils. In his last start, he threw 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits against Wilmington (Del.), striking out a season high four batters, while only allowing a single walk. He took the loss in that game however, dropping his record to 1-1 on the season.
Saturday’s game will feature pitchers from the opposite side of the rubber, as the Blue Hens will throw left hander Devon Pearson as the Patriots will look to counter with LHP T.J. O’Grady.
Pearson is coming off another solid start for Delaware, as he threw five innings in the second game against Wilmington (Del.). the lefty struck out a career best six batters, and did not allow a walk while giving up two runs (one earned). Unfortunately, he fell to 0-2 on the season, as the Blue Hen offense was unable to solve the Wildcat pitcher.
Sunday’s starter is still to be announced by head coach Jim Sherman for Delaware, but the Patriots plan to bring back another right-hander, A.J. Johnson.
Scouting George Mason:
The visiting Patriots (9-4-1) are coming to Bob Hannah Stadium after recording their first tie in George Mason program since the 2000 season. On Wednesday night, the visiting Richmond Spiders posted a three-spot in the top of the ninth innings, knotting the game at 8-8 and forced extra innings. The game was called following the 10th inning, as darkness fell causing it unsafe to continue.
O’Grady, who the Blue Hens will face on Saturday, made his first career start on the hill for the Patriots, allowing no runs and just two hits in four innings. Relievers Branden Bartlett, Jake Kalish, Brandon Kuter and Michael Bowie combined to allow no earned runs in 4.1 innings of work. Over half of the Spiders runs were unearned, as the Patriots committed five errors, allowing five runs to cross the plate.
Brig Tison went 3-for-6 in the contest, extending his hitting streak to double-figures (10), while Nick Allen had three hits as well.
The Patriots dropped the first game of the series to Richmond on Tuesday, as the two teams played a home and home. Richmond beat Mason, 5-2, on their home field.
Mason fell to 0-2 to start the season, falling to USC Upstate in the season opener 16-4, before falling to Xavier 11-3. The Patriots went on to win seven straight and nine of ten before the Richmond series.
For the season, Dan Schafferman paces the Patriots offensively, hitting .462 in 39 at bats. He has knocked in 16 runs, belting one homerun and two doubles. Tison follows in second, batting .400 on the season in 65 at bats. He also has 16 RBI’s, hitting five doubles and one triple. He is 4-6 on the base paths. Shane Davis and Zack Helgeson lead the team with three homeruns each.
Bartlett, Kuter and Brandon Lindsey all have 0.00 ERA’s, but its Pfaeffle who leads the staf with 18 strikeouts, going 2-1 so far on the young season. He has a 5.74 ERA. Chris O’Grady is 1-2 with an 11.70 ERA in 10 innings, but is second on the team with 10 strikeouts. A.J. Johnson is 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings.
Out of Left Field:
For only the sixth time in Delaware program history, the Blue Hens were shut out in back-to-back games, as they lost to Wilmington (Del.) on March 5, 4-0, and were shutout by Maryland on Tuesday, 8-0.
Getting shutout in back-to-back games six times seems like a lot, but this is a program that played its first season in 1882. The first time Blue Hens put up two goose eggs in back-to-back games was in the 1909 season. They dropped a 2-0 decision to Trinity College on April 14, and suffered a 9-0 loss to North Carolina State two days later.
The last time it happened was in 1993, when the Hens dropped a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader to rival Drexel on May 2. They fell 4-0 and 2-0 in Philadelphia.
Dameron is currently on a seven game hitting streak, the longest of the season for any Blue Hen. Steve Ulaky and Chris Branigan had a six game hitting streak snapped during the first game against Wilmington on March 4.Dameron is still a ways away from the program record of reaching safely on a hit in 30 straight games, set last season by D.J. Long.
The Hens scoring issues are not because they are not getting on base. They have left 98 runners on base this season, and have hit into 15 double plays in only 12 games. They have grounded into 10 double plays, many a time killing a rally.
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