Ferdinand Hits Three-Run Walk Off in the Tenth to Send Blue Hens to a 15-12 Win Over Temple
March 29, 2011
File Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del - - Nick Ferdinand sent the University of Delaware baseball team into the second round of the Liberty Bell Classic with a three-run walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 10th to beat Temple in a high-scoring, marathon affair, 15-12, at Bob Hannah Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
The three hour, forty minute game featured 30 hits, 12 walks, and 10 pitching changes in the nonconference affair between the I-95 rivals. Delaware (13-12 overall) improved to 4-0 in extra inning contests this season. Temple (14-8 overall) is eliminated from the Liberty Bell Classic with the loss.
After Temple’s Cameron Green tied the ballgame with a two-run shot to right field, Ferdinand (above right) won it for the Blue Hens with a three-run homerun in the tenth, with runners on first and third with zero outs.
“I just tried to drive the ball,” said Ferdinand, the Bensalem, Pa. native. “I tried to hit a deep fly ball. They (the infield) were playing in, so I figured all I had to do was hit the ball hard or drive it. A sacrifice fly was all I was really looking for.”
It was the second walk-off homerun for the Blue Hens, as Pat Dameron also hit a three-run shot earlier in the season against George Mason. Delaware also defeated UNC Greensboro and a second game against George Mason in extra-innings, making it five-straight wins in extra inning contests dating back to last season.
Delaware took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second, as the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper “Louisville Slugger’s” National Co-Player of the Week Steve Ulaky launched a 0-1 pitch over the scoreboard in right for his sixth homerun of the season. He now has five blasts in his last five games.
Trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth, the Blue Hens put back-to-back four run innings to grab a commanding 10-4 lead.
Big hits in the fourth inning came off the bat from freshman Alex Mottle (below right), as his single up the middle plated the first two runs to tie the score. Now with the bases loaded and two outs, DJ Long singled into right field, scoring the go-ahead runs for the time being.
Another four runs came across in the fifth inning, as Hank Yates chased home Ferdinand with a one out triple to the left center field gap. Alex Mottle singled back up the middle to plate Yates for the second run, before Dylan Shupe hit an opposite field jack to right for his first collegiate homerun.
But the Owls fought back, scoring six unanswered runs in the next two innings to retie the score and put the pressure back on the home team.
Shupe started things off once again for the Hens in the home half of the seventh with an opposite field hit, this time staying in the ballpark for a double. EJ Stoltzfus followed up with single through the right side, scoring Shupe from second. Now on third base, Stoltzfus trotted home safely on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Long.
Head coach Jim Sherman brought in his closer, Steve Richter, in the eighth with a runner on first to try and get the two inning save, and it quickly worked in Sherman’s favor. Richter got his first batter to ground into a double-play and a got a strikeout to end the inning.
But Richter walked the first batter of the ninth and blew the save as Green hit the opposite field homerun to tie the game.
Dameron then led off the bottom of the 10th with a single in left center to put the game-winning run on base. Ulaky hit a sharp ground ball to shortstop, which scorched by Adrian Perez to put runners on first and third with no outs, setting up Ferdinand’s fireworks.
“Yea,” Ferdinand said of knowing it was gone off the bat. “Either way we were going to win the game. I figured it was going to go over his head. It was nice especially with these new bats; they restrict the ball a little bit. It was a fun game today.”
Ferdinand, Long and Mottle all ended with three RBI’s a piece, while Shupe, Mottle and Stoltzfus were the only Blue Hens to record two hits.
The Blue Hens will wait to find out who and where they will play the second round of the Liberty Classic. The date that is set aside for round two is April 5.
Delaware stays at home this weekend as they get back into Colonial Athletic Association play. They welcome CAA leaders Georgia State to Bob Hannah Stadium starting on Friday at 3 p.m.
Temple…… 1 2 0 1 0 5 1 0 2 0 – 12 17 2
Delaware.… 2 0 0 4 4 0 2 0 0 3 – 15 13 4
E – Perez (5); Khan (4); Stoltzfus (2); Anderson 2 (5); Soren (1). DP – Delaware 3. LOB – Temple 11; Delaware 7. 2B – McKoy (7); Perez (12); Ferguson (7); Nikorak (9); Green (6); Shupe (3). 3B – Yates (1). HR – Perez (2); Green (3); Ulaky (6); Ferdinand (2); Shupe (1). HBP – McKoy; Ferdinand; Anderson. SH – Hall (1); Khan (3). SF – McKoy (4); Long (2). SB – Khan (8). CS – Juran (2); Branigan (1).
Win – Steve Richter (2-0). Loss - Phil Gianakos (0-1). Save – None.
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