Eighth Inning Rally Secures Delaware Baseball Victory Over Temple, 7-5
April 17, 2012
AMBLER, Pa. – A three-run, eighth inning rally secured a 7-5 victory for the University of Delaware baseball team over host Temple Tuesday afternoon at Skip Wilson Field.
Delaware (20-18) locked down its 20th victory of the season while Temple (13-23) dropped 10 games below .500 on the season. Delaware reached the 20-win mark for the 40th straight season.
The Blue Hen offense has hit its stride in recent weeks. Over the last eight games UD batters have collected 105 hits, an average of 13.1 per game, and scored 69 runs for an average of 8.6 per game.
Ty Warrington (at right) led the offensive charge for the Blue Hens with three hits in addition to two RBI and two runs scored. Joe Giacchino, DJ Long and Tyler Powell also collected two hits apiece in the victory. Nick Ferdinand extended his hitting streak to eight games after the right fielder tallied the pivotal two-run single in the eighth inning.
With the game tied 4-4 entering the eighth inning, Brock Niggebrugge and Warrington drew walks that jump-started the frame for the Blue Hens. After Cameron Travalini put the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Long drew a walk that loaded the bases.
With the sacks packed, Ferdinand lined a two-run single to center field that scored Niggebrugge and Warrington while Long scampered to third base. Long then stole home for the third run of the inning to give Delaware a 7-4 lead.
Temple made the ninth inning interesting, as the Owls punched one run on the scoreboard with a Matt Elko sacrifice fly that plated Hall, who had reached on a leadoff single.
Delaware reliever Jeff Murray came into into the ballgame and held the Owls scoreless, getting the final three outs to lock down his first save of the season.
The Blue Hens jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Long smashed a one-out triple to the center field wall. Long would score the game’s first run after Temple shortstop Nick Lustrino committed a fielding error on Ferdinand’s ground ball.
In the top of the second inning, Giacchino legged out a leadoff, infield single, stole second base, and raced home on Warrington’s RBI double to left field as Delaware took a 2-0 edge.
The Owls responded in the bottom of the second after Connor Reilly singled to center field and advanced to second on Jabair Khan’s walk. Following a fielder’s choice that eliminated Khan at second and moved Reilly to third, Foster Dunigan collected a RBI single to left field that plated Reilly and brought Temple to within one run.
Delaware took a 4-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning when Niggebrugge drew a two-out walk, reached second base on a balk called on Temple pitcher Ryan Kuehn and raced home on Warrington’s RBI single to left-center field. After Travalini coaxed a walk that moved Warrington to second base, Long smacked a RBI single to left field that drove home Warrington.
Temple cut its deficit in half at 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Juran singled up the middle and sprinted home on Reilly’s RBI single to left field. Juran lined a single to left field that started the bottom of the sixth inning.
After Reilly dropped a sacrifice bunt that moved Juran to second base, Kahn reached on an infield single. Dunigan then drew a walk that would load the bases for Hall, who smacked a two-run single to left field and knotted the game at 4-4.
The teams held each other scoreless in the seventh inning before the late-game heroics for the Blue Hens.
Ken Fetchko (1-0) earned his first win of the year after he surrendered one earned run on two hits and had two strikeouts in 2.2 innings pitched.
Temple’s Brant Norlander (2-3) could not register an out in the eighth inning, but was charged with two earned runs on two hits for his third loss of the season.
Dan Gatto was handed a no-decision for the Blue Hens after the righty tossed 5.1 innings on the mound and held Temple to two earned runs on six hits while striking out five.
Kuehn received a no-decision despite not being able to finish the fourth inning. The Owls starter yielded four earned runs on five hits and walked two.
The Blue Hens will get to enjoy a week-long break due to their yearly Colonial Athletic Association’s bye-weekend, but will return to action on Tuesday, April 24, with a road game at Rutgers.