Plays at the Plate Hand Delaware Baseball 10-9 Loss as Hofstra Sweeps Weekend Series
April 29, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – Two late-inning plays at the plate played a big part in the outcome Sunday as the University of Delaware baseball squad suffered a 10-9 defeat at the hands of Hofstra as the Pride swept the Colonial Athletic Association weekend series from the Blue Hens at sunny Bob Hannah Stadium.
Hofstra (25-17, 14-7 CAA) leaves town riding a five-game winning streak while Delaware (20-22, 11-10 CAA), still in the thick of the hunt for a CAA Tournament berth, had its losing streak reach four games.
The Hens, who fell to Hofstra 16-1 on Friday and 4-0 on Saturday, were swept in a CAA, weekend series for the first time since last May when Old Dominion took three home games from Delaware.
Nick Ferdinand registered his first grand slam of the season in the second inning while DJ Long scored all three times he reached base to lead the Delaware offensive attack in a losing effort.
Hofstra, which banged out 14 hits on the day, went ahead for good at 10-9 with two runs in the eighth inning thanks to a two-run double by Kevin Flynn.
Down by one run with two outs in the ninth inning, the Blue Hens mounted a final rally when Chris Branigan dropped a single into shallow left field. Pinch hitter Alex Mottle smashed a double to the left-center field wall that allowed pinch runner Gary Jones to race around the bases before he was tagged out at the plate on the heels of Hofstra shortstop Dalton Rouleau’s relay throw for the final out of the game.
Hofstra came into the eighth inning trailing 9-8 before Danny Poma lined a leadoff double to center field. Following Kenny Jackson’s intentional walk, Flynn laced a two-run, eventual game-winning double to the left-field corner that gave the Pride a 10-9 lead. On the play, Delaware \shortstop Brock Niggebrugge’s relay throw beat Jackson to the plate, but UD catcher Ty Warrington dropped the throw, allowing the run to score.
Andrew Barbaarino (3-2) earned the victory for Hofstra as the reliever held the Blue Hens to one earned run on one hit and two walks in 3.1 innings on the mound. Bryan Verbitsky, who notched his fourth save of the season, tossed the final two scoreless innings of the game as the right-hander yielded just two hits.
Blue Hens reliever Devon Pearson (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season as he surrendered two earned runs on four hits while walking three batters.
Hofstra started the game with two runs in the top of the first inning behind a RBI single by Jackson and a throwing error by Warrington on a double-steal attempt that allowed a second Pride run to score in the frame.
The Blue Hens captured a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the first after Long drew a one-out walk and moved to second on Alex Maruri’s single through the right side. Tyler Powell lined a RBI single to right field that plated Long and moved Maruri to third. Back-to-back RBI singles by EJ Stoltzfus and Branigan knocked in Maruri and Powell. With the runners
on the corners, a double-steal was executed to perfection as Stoltzfus stole home for the fourth run of the inning.
In the top of the second inning, Austin Nyman reached on a fielder’s choice and raced to third on Roueau’s single to right field. A throwing error on UD starter Chad Kuhl during a pickoff attempt at first base allowed Nyman to score while Rouleau advanced to second. Ford connected with a RBI single that plated Rouleau and tied the game at 4-4.
Three-straight singles by Warrington, Joe Giacchino, and Long set up Ferdinand, who launched a grand slam over the right field wall and gave Delaware an 8-4 lead in the second inning.
The scoring continued in the top of the third inning for Hofstra and brought the Pride within three at 8-5. Flynn knocked a leadoff double to right field, raced to third on Matt Reistetter’s single through the right side, and scored on Nyman’s ground out to second base.
Poma hammered a lead-off double to left field in the top of the fourth inning and scored on a RBI single by Ford. After Flynn drew a walk, the runners went into motion and attempted a double steal before Warrington’s throw was dropped by third baseman EJ Stoltzfus to put the runners in scoring position. Reistetter then collected a two-run single
to left field to tie the game at 8-8.
Delaware took a 9-8 advantage in the bottom of the sixth inning after Long drew a one-out walk and sprinted around the bases to score with a head-first slide on Maruri’s double to the center field wall.
The Blue Hens lead looked safe before all the late-inning excitement culminated in a Delaware defeat.
Kuhl earned a no-decision for Delaware after the right-hander tossed 3.2 innings on the mound and was charged with eight runs (five earned) on nine hits. He also issued four walks and struck out a batter. Hofstra starter David Jesch also received a no-decision despite the right-hander not being able to register an out in the second inning after yielding
eight runs on eight hits.
The Blue Hens return to action this Tuesday, May 1, as the Hens host local rival Wilmington University at 3 p.m. at Delaware Stadium. Delaware will hand the ball to right-hander Dan Gatto (3-2, 5.25 ERA).