Baseball Can’t Hold On Late as Old Dominion Rallies Past Blue Hens, 7-5, to Open CAA Series
May 6, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - As the game of baseball comes and goes with ebbs and flows of a season, this one slipped through the fingers of the Blue Hens.
A bullpen that has seen its fair share of late leads, and having been able to hold those leads and turn them into wins, was unable to do so Friday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.
The University of Delaware gave up a ninth inning home run to drop game one of the Colonial Athletic Association series against Old Dominion, 7-5, on Friday.
Delaware (26-20, 15-10 CAA) couldn’t hold onto a 5-1 lead with nine outs remaining, giving up a four spot in the seventh and a two-run home run to Josh Wright in the top of the ninth.
Blue Hen starter Eric Young (above right) was rolling through the Old Dominion lineup (22-20, 14-8 CAA) the first two times through, allowing only a single third inning run. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing five hits and the one run, while striking out six batters. He was in line for his sixth win of the season when he came out, but would end with the no decision.
“He pitched exceptional today,” head coach Jim Sherman said. “I look back and I would still do the same thing. I didn’t like that the wind was blowing out and we had the lead with Jeff Murray in the bullpen warming up. He rolls for an inning or two, then we have Corey (Crispell) and we have (Stephen) Richter. That has been the ingredient all year and today just didn’t pan out that way.”
Delaware took the lead in the top of the first as Monarch starter Kyle Hald couldn’t find the strike zone after retiring the first two batters of the inning. With two outs, Steve Ulaky hit a deep double to the warning track in dead center field to start things off. Then Hald walked the next four batters, forcing in two easy runs.
The lone run Young gave up came off the bat of Nathan Hartman, as he led off the third with his fifth home run of the season.
The Blue Hens answered back with Pat Dameron in the fourth as the senior came up big in the clutch to drive in two runs. With Dave Anderson and Hank Yates on base and two outs, Dameron lined a double to the fence in left center, easily scoring Anderson from second and Yates from first.
Nick Ferdinand (below right) tacked on the Blue Hens' fifth and final run of the game in the fifth, ripping the first pitch he saw of the inning deep over the fence in left center for his ninth home run of the year. His home run also kept a streak of consecutive games with at least one RBI alive, moving it to 11 straight games.
Depsite leading 5-1, things unraveled for the home team in the seventh. With the bases loaded and one out, a sharp ground ball to third caromed of the arm of EJ Stoltzfus, allowing two runs to cross home plate. Wright brought the third run home with a single just inside the third base bag. Chris Baker tied the game at 5-5 with an RBI groundout.
Wright untied things in the ninth just as it looked as though Crispell would get out of danger. Giving up a one-out double, Crispell got the next batter to strikeout. But on a 1-1 count, Wright caught up with a pitch and deposited it over the fence in left for the game-winning runs.
Adam Wisniewski came on in the bottom half and ran into trouble, allowing Dameron and Ulaky to each hit infield singles. But Wisniewski got the next two batters to strike out and forced a game ending groundball to second for his 11th save of the season.
“I thought we both played well,” Sherman said of a game that featured playoff intensity. “I just told our guys that we have played way worse and won games. We just didn’t close it out like its been going. In the game of baseball, sooner or later it was bound to happen, that the pen comes up short. You can’t just think every game those guys are going to close things out. Today just wasn’t our day. The great thing is we can come back tomorrow and still have a chance to win two out of three.”
Game two of the three-game series will be on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Saturday is the inaugural baseball Alumni Day at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Old Dominion… 0 0 1 0 0 0 4 0 2 – 7 9 0
Delaware…….... 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 – 5 10 1
E – Stoltzfus (8). LOB – Old Dominion 6; Delaware 10. 2B – Shelton (4); Baker (17); Hartman (12); Dameron (19); Ulaky (16); Ferdinand (7). HR – Wright (11); Hartman (5); Ferdinand (9). HBP – Stoneback; Dameron. SH – Stonback (8); Yates (2). SB – Wright (14).
Win – Kyle Hald (7-2). Loss – Corey Crispell (5-2). Save – Adam Wisniewski (11).Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive