Delaware Baseball Takes Five-Game Winning Streak to Hofstra for Three-Game CAA Series Starting Friday
March 17, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - The University of Delaware baseball team finished its five-game homestand with a perfect 5-0 record, and head to Hofstra University this weekend, looking to get an early jump in the Colonial Athletic Association, already sitting in first with a 3-0 record. The series kicks off on Friday, with the first pitch scheduled at 3 p.m.
Last Time Out:
The Blue Hens roll into Hofstra after sweeping a five-game homestand in six days. After returning home from Maryland on March 8 depleted, the Blue Hens jumped all over George Mason, completing the three-game sweep to open the CAA schedule.
Delaware then came back and two a pair of midweek games at Bob Hannah Stadium, continuing their hit parade and win streak by jumping out to early leads. In the first game of the week, the Blue Hens plated seven runs in the first two frames to cruise to a 9-3 victory over Quinnipiac. The next day, the Blue and Gold put seven runs on the board in the first three innings before going on to win 9-5 over in-state rival Delaware State.
Nick Ferdinand continued to stay hot during the homestand yesterday, as he finished 3-for-4 with two runs scored against the Hornets. DJ Long (above right) finally broke out against Delaware State, going 3-for-4 on the afternoon with an RBI and three runs scored.
Freshman Dan Gatto got the nod from head coach Jim Sherman for the start on the mound. Making his third collegiate start, Gatto earned his first win as he threw the first five innings, striking out seven batters while not allowing a run. He also pitched against his brother, Tony Gatto, of Delaware State, getting him to go hitless on the day. Tony reached on an error in their first meeting, and flew out to center in their only other meeting against each other.
Pat Dameron, Steve Ulaky, and Logan Gallagher each collected two hits on the afternoon; making it the fifth straight game the Blue Hens recorded 10 or more hits.
This Weekend’s Tentative Rotation:
The weekend rotation didn’t get any of the wins from the three game series against George Mason, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be a conference starter anymore. Coach Sherman is sticking with the same three-man rotation: Eric Young, Devon Pearson, and Chad Kuhl.
Friday’s matchup will feature two right-handed pitchers, as Young will match up against David D’errico. Young had his worst start of the year against George Mason, but is still has been the team’s most consistent starter. He is 1-1 in four starts with a 4.58 ERA in 19.2 innings. D’errico is 1-2 on the season, shutting down James Madison in the team’s lone win of the season. He pitched 6.2 innings in that game, striking out three batters. He also has a 4.58 ERA on the season in 19.2 innings.
The Blue Hens will come back with lefty Devon Pearson (at right) on Saturday, as the offense will go against Rob Kumbatovic, a right-hander. Pearson is still looking for his first win of the season, but has pitched extremely well in his four starts. He is 0-2 with a 5.00 ERA in 18 innings, striking out team-high 12 batters. Kumbatovic is also 0-2 for the Pride, but has a 10.80 ERA in 21.2 innings. He leads the team in strikeouts with 18, compared to only nine walks.
Sunday will feature another pair of right-handed pitchers, as the Blue Hens will send out freshman Chad Kuhl and the Pride will most-likely counter with Jared Rogers. Kuhl has made two starts this season as a freshman and has quickly risen on the staff depth chart. He is currently 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 13.1 innings, but has 10 strikeouts. Rogers has made three starts on the season, and has gone 0-2 in 11.1 innings. He currently has an ERA of 15.09.
The Pride opened their CAA schedule with a 4-3 win over favorite James Madison, but has lost the last three to fall to 1-11 on the season. This week, they dropped a close 9-8 decision over visiting Rider.
Their schedule has not been easy so far this year, as they squared off against eighth ranked Florida State for three games, and 27th James Madison for three more.
Scott A’Hara leads the offensive attack for the Pride, hitting .351 in 37 at-bats on the season. Danny Poma has 15 hits in 45 at-bats, hitting .333 on the season. As a team the Pride is hitting .275, 13 points better than the Blue Hen attack.
Their pitching has been their Achilles heal so far this year, as they have eight players with three or more appearances with an ERA great than 10.00. As a team, they are giving up 10.35 earned runs a game, as opposed to their opponents, 4.54 ERA.
Out of Left Field:
According to boydsworld.com, an unofficial ratings site that uses the formula used by the NCAA to calculate a team’s RPI, the Blue Hens moved up 20 spots to 58 as of yesterday’s games. Delaware’s five-game winning streak has certainly helped, but the Hens are getting a boost from Arizona State, who continues to beat ranked teams (Auburn and Oklahoma), helping Delaware’s RPI since they beat them once. It is the highest the team has been ranked in the RPI since the 2001 season, the last season the Blue Hens made it to the NCAA Regional round.
They are the highest ranked CAA team in the latest RPI, as UNC Wilmington is the next conference team at 86. Florida and Virginia are in the number one and two spots, respectively, as Arizona State sits at no. 4.
Pat Dameron’s double in the sixth not only set up two crucial runs for the Blue Hens, but also was his 200th career hit in a Delaware uniform, making him the 34th player in program history to reach the 200-hit plateau. He currently sits with exactly 200 hits, tied for 33rd on the all-time list with Ryan Cuneo (2007-10). He sits behind Steve Harden (201), Heath Chasanov (203) and Reid Gorecki (204) for 30th place, as they are the closest in line.
Scott Waibel (1977-80) hold the program’s all-time mark for hits in a career, topping out at 303 as the only player in Blue Hen history with over 300 hits. Head coach Jim Sherman is fifth on the list with 261 while associate head coach Dan Hammer is sixth with 258 hits.
The three-game sweep over George Mason is the first time since the 2001 season that the Blue Hens started conference play with a sweep. As part of the America East conference, the Blue Hens swept Northeastern in a four-game set, on their way to the America East Championship.
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