Giacchino’s Sacrifice Fly in Ninth Inning Gives Blue Hens 3-2 Victory Over The Citadel For First Victory of Season
February 23, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Chris Mlynarczyk
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Joe Giacchino hit a sacrifice fly to drive home Cameron Travalini with the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning as the University of Delaware baseball team picked up its first win of the season with a 3-2 victory over The Citadel Thursday night at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Travalini opened the top of the ninth as a pinch hitter for Jimmy Yezzo, and quickly worked a walk on five pitches. After Travalini moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Burgess, Alex Mottle ripped a double down the leftfield line to put runners on second and third with one out. Giacchino then lifted a flyball into foul territory in leftfield, which was caught by the Bulldogs but allowed Travalini to score the go-ahead run.
The Citadel, which fell to 1-3 on the year, attempted to rally in the bottom of the ninth, as Johnathan Stokes worked a two-out walk from Delaware relief pitcher Devon Pearson (at right) and then moved to second on a wild pitch. Eric Buckland then relieved Pearson for Delaware, but after he walked Calvin Orth on a full count pitch, both runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. However Buckland settled down to retire Mason Davis on a flyball to right to end the game and earn his second career save.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring by pushing across a run in the bottom of the second inning. Justin Mackert led off with a single into leftfield, and after he stole second, he moved to third on a flyout to right and then scored on a single to right by Tyler Griffin.
However the Blue Hens, who improved to 1-3 on the campaign, got the run right back in the top of the third. With one out EJ Stoltzfus singled up the middle, and after D.J. Long also grounded a single to center, Nick Ferdinand grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners with two outs. Stoltzfus then crossed the plate on a passed ball by The Citadel catcher Joe Jackson, knotting the contest at 1-1.
Delaware took its first lead of the night in the top of the sixth when Ferdinand led off with a single up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on a groundout to second by Alex Maruri, and scored on another wild pitch.
The Bulldogs rallied back in the bottom of the seventh, as Drew DeKerlegand and Griffin opened the frame with singles. Delaware starting pitcher Corey Crispell responded to strike out Hughston Armstrong and retire Bailey Rush on a fielder’s choice, but Orth delivered a two-out RBI single to left to drive home DeKerlegand with the tying run.
However Rush was thrown out at third on the play by Blue Hen shortstop Brock Neggebrugge, keeping the game tied at 2-2.
Both teams put two runners on base with one out in the eighth inning but neither team could push across the go-ahead run, before the Blue Hens scored the game-winner in the ninth.
Pearson picked up the victory for the Blue Hens and improved to 1-0 on the season after tossing an inning of scoreless relief, after Crispell scattered eight hits and gave up just two earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.
Ross White was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs after he gave up one earned run in a third of an inning, dropping to 0-1 on the campaign.
The Blue Hens and Bulldogs continue their four-game series on Friday with a single game beginning at 1 p.m.
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