Dameron Reaches 200 Career Hits as Blue Hens Stay Hot, Beat In-State Rival Delaware State 9-5
March 16, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. -- A double with one out in the sixth not only set up two crucial runs for the University of Delaware baseball team, but it was also senior Pat Dameron’s 200th hit of his career, as he helped lead the Blue Hens to their fifth straight win, beating Delaware State, 9-5, at Bob Hannah Stadium on Wednesday.
The win helped keep the dominance in the Route 1 Rivalry on Delaware’s (8-9) side, as they have now won the last seven meetings, and move to 35-7 all-time in the series. The Hens jumped out to a big lead early once again, but a five-run hiccup in the eighth kept Delaware State (4-12) in the ballgame.Today ended the Hens 5-game home stand, and gives them a five-game winning streak heading to a conference weekend series at Hofstra.
“As a group we are playing better all the way around and when you hit better you are going to play better defensively,” Dameron (above right) said of the team’s early season turnaround. “Our approach at the plate has been better, we’re laying off the off-speed pitches and attacking the fastballs.”
Dameron finished 2-for-5, scoring two runs while knocking in a run as well. His one out double in the sixth moved DJ Long to third base, as both runners would eventually come around to score in the inning, expanding the lead to 9-0. With the two hits, Dameron becomes the 34th batter in Blue Hen history to reach the 200-hit mark for his career. Scott Waibel holds the record with 303 hits during his time as a Blue Hen in 1977-80.
The offense jumped out to seven runs through the first three innings against Hornet starter Derek Marshallsea. A five-run explosion in the second seemed to be all that was needed in the early going.
Delaware freshman starter Dan Gatto had a little extra motivation heading to the mound this afternoon. The right-handed pitcher from Dover, Del. had friendly family wagers on the line.
“I was a little excited but I went out there like it was any other opponent and when he got up there I knew what he can’t hit, so I had some advance scouting,” Dan Gatto said talking about facing his older brother, Tony Gatto, for the first time in the first. “He hit two balls hard though, I would have rather seen him not put it in play or hit it softer but, but they were still outs.”
Tony Gatto reached on an error in the first, then flied out to center to end the third.
Dan Gatto earned his first collegiate win, pitching five scoreless, effective innings, only allowing four hits while striking out seven Hornets, a new career high and season best for any Delaware pitcher.
“Little brother outdid big brother… I think he held him to 0-for-2 against him,” head coach Jim Sherman said. “It was fun for both teams rooting for their own player as brothers go against brothers. It was nice; he did a good job. He’s going to be a good one for us.”
Aaron Nardone hit a three-run homerun to right to kick start a five-run eighth inning for the Hornets. Two more errors by Blue Hens kept Delaware State alive in the inning, and they scored twice more as Joey Babuca and Trey DeRouen crossed home plate on a throwing error from Steve Ulaky. But Steve Richter settled in and got the two final outs, leaving two runners on to end the comeback threat.
Matt Harden (below right) came on in the ninth, giving up a walk, but retired the Hornets with no further damage to end the ball game and the five-game home stand.
“We wanted to roll into Hofstra,” Dameron said of the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association series. “We have a really good opportunity to come out of the gates in our conference and if we take advantage of that it’s going to go a long way for the rest of the season.”
The series will begin on Friday, in Hempstead, N.Y. with a scheduled 3 p.m. start.
Delaware State….. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 – 5 9 3
Delaware………... 1 5 1 0 0 2 0 0 X – 9 14 4
E – Hernandez; Davis; Marshallsea; Long (6); Ulaky (4); Hinkle (1); Gallagher (6). DP – Delaware 2. LOB – Delaware State 10; Delaware 7. 2B – Long (5); Dameron (5); Gallagher 2 (3). HR – Nardone (2). HBP – Davis. SF – Mascoe (1). SB – Dameron (3).; Ulaky (2). CS – Ulaky (1); Mottle (1).
Win – Dan Gatto (1-1). Loss – Derek Marshallsea (0-2). Save – None.
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