University of Delaware Baseball Team Opens 2012 Season With Weekend Series at Houston
February 16, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HOUSTON, Texas -- The University of Delaware baseball squad opens its 2012 campaign this weekend with a three-game series against the University of Houston at Cougar Field.
The Blue Hens and Cougars will play a single game each day, with action beginning at 6:30 Central on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Delaware will be looking to improve on last season, when the Blue Hens went 27-26 overall and finished fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 16-14 league mark. UD, led by 12th-year head coach Jim Sherman, returns 15 letterwinners and was picked seventh in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll last month.
The Blue Hens will rely on a pitching staff that returns its top nine ERA leaders from a year ago, including senior righthander Eric Young who started 13 games and went 5-2 with a 4.00 earned run average. Senior righty Corey Crispell (at right) will also be a mainstay in the rotation after going 6-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 2011, while senior Devon Pearson, junior Matt Soren and sophomore Chad Kuhl will also battle for spots in the Delaware rotation.
The UD bullpen will be anchored by senior lefty Jeff Murray, who appeared in 28 games last season and compiled a 3.19 earned run average while earning one win and picking up a save. Junior Stephen Richter will also see plenty of action after posting three wins and a 3.49 ERA in 21 relief appearances in 2011, while sophomore Brandon Hinkle had a 1.59 ERA in 13 games.
The Blue Hen lineup will be paced by junior second baseman D.J. Long, a Preseason All-CAA selection who batted .298 with 65 hits, 20 doubles and 24 RBI a year ago. Junior outfielder Nick Ferdinand also returns after hitting .312 with 53 hits, nine homers and 30 runs batted in, while sophomore third baseman EJ Stoltzfus will look for an increased role after batting .331 a year ago. Also expecting to battle for a starting spot is junior outfielder Chris Branigan, who hit .245 with 26 hits and three longballs in 2011.
Young is expected to oppose Houston senior righty Jared Ray, who went 1-1 with a 3.28 ERA last season, during Friday’s season opener for both teams. Kuhl (1-4, 6.39 ERA) is scheduled to face the Cougars’ Jordan Lewis (5-3, 3.75 ERA) on Saturday, while the finale will feature Crispell against Houston freshman Aaron Garza.
This weekend’s games will be the first ever matchups between Delaware and Houston. The Blue Hens will next be in action on Feb. 23-26 with a four-game series at The Citadel, before returning home to host Fairfield in four games on Mar. 2-4 at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive