Win Streak Ends as Delaware Baseball Falls to Saint Joseph's 3-2 in Liberty Bell Classic Semifinals
April 3, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
MERION STATION, Pa. – Three University of Delaware errors resulted in two unearned runs for host Saint Joseph's as the Blue Hens dropped Tuesday’s semifinal of the Liberty Bell Classic with a 3-2 setback to the Hawks at the Maguire Campus Baseball Field.
Delaware (14-15) had its season-high, four-game winning streak snapped by Saint Joseph’s (9-20) despite outhitting the Hawks 8-7.
Eight different Blue Hens picked up a hit, including Nick Ferdinand, who extended his season-long hitting streak to nine games, and Jimmy Yezzo (at right), who clouted a solo home run in the eighth inning.
Blue Hen starter Dan Gatto (2-2) suffered the loss despite a solid effort that saw him allow just one earned run and strikeout six batters on the day. Jeff Murray came on in relief and allowed just one hit and struck out four batters in 2.1 innings on the mound.
Gatto, who had a two-game win streak snapped, had gotten the Blue Hens to the Liberty Bell Class semifinals after pitching six shutout innings in a 5-0 win over Lehigh back on March 27 in the opening round of this annual tournament that matches the top NCAA Division I teams from the Delaware Valley.
Saint Joseph's, which snapped a two-game losing streak, now advances to the LBC title game for the first time since 2003 where the Hawks will play Penn on Apr. 17 at Citizen's Bank Park - home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Delaware advanced to the title game last year before falling to Villanova 7-6.
The Hawks took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after leadoff hitter, Ryan Pater, reached first on a fielding error by Gatto.
After Pater stole second base and Lansing Veeder drew a walk, the runners advanced into scoring position on a ground out. With runners on second and third base, Greg Kumpel lined a RBI single to the left side that plated Veeder for the first run of the game.
Delaware knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the second inning after Tyler Powell slapped a single up the middle and reached second base on Chris Branigan’s infield single. Ryan Hartley lined a RBI single to left field that plated Powell for the game-tying run.
Pater singled through the right side to leadoff the bottom of the third inning and raced to third base on Veeder’s single down the right-field line. Stefan Kancylarz lifted a sacrifice fly that delivered Pater to break the tie.
Following a fielding error by Hartley that allowed O’Keefe to reach and Veeder to advance to second base, Kevin Taylor singled up the middle to score Veeder as Saint Joseph's increased the lead to 3-1.
Yezzo smashed a one-out, solo home run over the right field wall in the top of the eighth inning that brought the Blue Hens to within one run of the Hawks. Yezzo’s first home run of the season extended his season-long hitting streak to six games.
Mike Muha (2-1) registered the victory for Saint Joseph's as the reliever held Delaware hitless over 2.1 innings with one strikeout. Steven Schuler earned his second save of the season behind two innings on the mound and was charged with one earned run on one hit and one strikeout.
Daniel Thorpe earned a no-decision for the Hawks after the right-hander held UD to one earned run on seven hits and four strikeouts in 4.2 innings on the mound.
The Blue Hens return to action this Friday, April 6 with game one of their Colonial Athletic Association, weekend series against the William and Mary Tribe.
The action is set for 7 p.m. at William and Mary’s Plumeri Park as the Blue Hens send senior right-hander Eric Young (3-2, 3.80 ERA) to the mound. The series will continue on Saturday and Sunday.