Ulaky’s Belts Record Tying Three Homeruns as the Blue Hens Comeback to Defeat Route 1 Rival Delaware State, 12-9
March 22, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
DOVER, Del. - - Senior Steve Ulaky became the 19th University of Delaware baseball player to hit three homeruns in one game, tying an NCAA record with two in the eighth inning, as the Blue Hens came back and defeated interstate rival Delaware State, 12-9, at Soldier Field on Tuesday afternoon.
Ulaky (above right) became the third Blue Hen to hit two homeruns in one inning, joining Matt Schmidt and Andrew Salvo in the record books. Schmidt hit two against Maryland-Eastern Shore on April 29, 1993, while Salvo etched his named in the record book on March 26, 2000 against Princeton. Along with Schmidt and Salvo, Ulaky tied an NCAA record with the feat as many players have accomplished the goal, with some of the most recent coming from earlier this season as James Madison's Jake Lowry, David Herbek and Alex Foltz completed the task.
Ulaky’s first blast came in the third inning, moving Delaware (11-10 overall) to a 3-0 lead early in the game. His three homeruns in one game tied him with 18 other Blue Hens in the history of the program. Ryan Cuneo and classmate Pat Dameron conquered the feat last season in the same game on May 8, defeating Hofstra 25-10.
The senior first baseman finished the day 4-for-5 with seven RBI’s, also scoring four runs. His two blasts in the eighth inning capped a nine-run eighth inning for the Blue Hens as they climbed all the way back to shock the Hornets (6-14 overall).
Leading 3-0 after the first three innings, the home team put a scoring run of their own over the next four innings, creating what looked like a comfortable lead, 9-3, heading into the top of the eighth. The Blue Hens sent 13 batters to the plate in the eight, scoring nine runs on five hits, and only one error by the Hornets. The error came with the second to last batter of the inning stepping in, making all nine runs earned in the inning.
In all, the Hornets used four pitchers in the inning, as starter Elliot Gardner faced the first two batters of the inning without recording an out before handing the ball over to the bullpen.
Dameron walked to start the inning, then stepping in Ulaky who blasted his second homerun of the game over the wall in right center field. Dyaln Shupe singled and Hank Yates was hit by a pitch to put two more runners on before Jose Portela relieved Chad Sturgeon. With the bases loaded, Alex Mottle reached on a fielder’s choice, but the Hornets could not record an out on the play. Jimmy Yezzo then grounded into a 4-6-3 double play for the first two outs of the inning. Pinch hitter EJ Stoltzfus singled in Nick Ferdinand to keep the inning alive.
Again with two men on, Dameron singled back up the middle to score the tying run. Now with Jordan Elliot pitched for the home team, it was Ulaky’s turn once again in the lineup, as he deposited a three-run homerun to centerfield to take the lead 12-9.
Steve Richter came on to pitch for Delaware, and quickly quieted the bats of the Hornets in the home half of the eighth and keep the momentum in the visitors dugout.
After a 1-2-3 inning for the Hens in ninth, Delaware State got the tying run in to the plate with their last chance after Richter walked two straight batters with two outs. But Richter regrouped and struck DJ Miller out looking to end the ballgame and comeback.
Ulaky was the lone Blue Hen to record more than one hit on the afternoon, as they totaled 10 for the game. He now has a team leading four homeruns on the season.
Matt Soren (below right) started on the hill for the Hens, pitching the first three innings while only giving up two hits and striking out five Hornets. Eric Buckland pitched the middle portion of the game, allowing seven runs on eighth hits in 2.2 innings of work. Nick Young relieved Buckland in the sixth, pitching 1.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits, earning the victory and improving to 1-1 on the season. Then Richter came on and tallied his fourth save of the season.
The Blue Hens are off until this Friday, as they resume their Colonial Athletic Association schedule with a three-game series against William & Mary at Bob Hannah Stadium. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Delaware………... 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 9 0 – 12 10 1
Delaware State….. 0 0 0 1 1 5 2 0 0 – 9 14 2
E – Dameron (4); Davis (3); Haas (3). DP – Delaware 1; Delaware State 1. LOB – Delaware 5; Delaware State 8. 2B – Long (8); Ulaky (7); Mascoe (8); Hernandez (5); Cecil (4); Gatto 3 (4). HR – Ulaky 3 (4); Haas (2); Miller (1). HBP – Long; Yates. SH – Miller (2). SF – Dameron (3). SB – Drummond (5). CS – Anderson (1).
Win – Nick Young (1-1). Loss – Jose Portella. Save – Steve Richter (4).
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