Delaware Baseball Completes CAA Sweep Over James Madison with Sunday's 7-5 Win
April 1, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HARRISONBURG, Va. – The University of Delaware’s offense provided another late-inning rally Sunday as the Blue Hen baseball squad posted a 7-5 victory over James Madison University in the Colonial Athletic Association weekend series finale at JMU’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Delaware (14-14, 7-5 CAA) claimed its first CAA series sweep of the season and extended its longest winning streak of the season to four games with the victory. James Madison, the pre-season CAA favorite, fell to 6-21-1 (1-11 CAA) as the Dukes suffered their fourth straight loss and their 16th in the last 17 ballgames.
Delaware's CAA sweep was the Hens' first since downing George Mason in three straight games last March and their first CAA road sweep since 2007 when the Hens downed Northeastern in three straight games in Boston.
Ryan Hartley, Ty Warrington, and DJ Long each knocked in a run during a pivotal three-run eighth inning as the Blue Hens broke a 4-4 tie and moved on to the win.
The Dukes seized an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Cole McIntruff reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on Casey Gross’ single down the left-field line. Conner Brown’s pop fly that was dropped by Blue Hen left fielder Tyler Powell cleared the bases for JMU’s first runs of the game.
The Blue Hens responded in the top of the second inning when the bases were loaded behind Jimmy Yezzo reaching on a fielding error, Powell being walked and Chris Branigan being hit by a pitch. With the sacks packed, a fielding error by JMU second baseman Casey Gross on Cameron Travalini’s ground ball allowed Yezzo and Powell to score. Warrington would knock in Branigan on a fielder’s choice as the Blue Hens took a 3-2 advantage.
JMU’s Colby Roberts was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the third inning and reached second base after a ground out. The Dukes followed with a walk for Chad Carroll, who lined a RBI single to left field that scored the game-tying run.
Brock Niggebrugge lined a leadoff double down the right-field line and advanced to third on a strikeout that required a throw down to first base. Yezzo lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that plated Niggebrugge as UD recaptured a one-run edge, 4-3.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, back-to-back singles by Gross and Brown resulted in runners on the corners. A throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt at first base by UD reliever Devon Pearson allowed Gross to score the game-tying run.
Tied at 4-4 in the top of the eighth inning, the Blue Hens sparked a three-run rally that began when Powell reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second base on pinch hitter Alex Maruri’s single up the middle. Following a Travalini walk that loaded the bases, Hartley dropped a bunt single that scored Powell and kept the bases loaded. Warrington lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that delivered Maruri and Long followed by roping a RBI single through the left side that plated Travalini and gave the Hens a 7-4 lead. The Dukes mounted a final rally in the bottom of the ninth inning when Gross singled to left field and scored on a Brown double to left to narrow the deficit to 7-5, but the comeback ended there.
Pearson (3-1) registered his third win on the season for Delaware as the lefty hurled 2.2 innings on the mound in relief and held the Dukes to two runs (one earned) on five hits, one walk, and one strikeout.
Stephen Richter earned his third straight save and his fifth of the season as he struck out Colby Roberts to end the game.
UD starter Chad Kuhl received a no-decision as the right-hander tossed six innings and yielded three runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts.
James Madison reliever Trent Cundiff (2-1) suffered the loss for the Dukes after he was charged with two earned runs on two hits and one strikeout. Evan Scott garnered a no-decision for JMU after the right-handed starter surrendered four runs (one earned) on one hit, three walks and four strikeouts.
The Blue Hens return to action this Tuesday, Apr. 3, for the semifinals of the Liberty Bell Classic. The Hens, who downed Lehigh in last week's first round game, will travel to Philadelphia to take on Saint Joseph's at 3 p.m.