Delaware Opens With Big First Inning, Stays in Front to Down Old Dominion 8-6 in CAA Opener
March 9, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NORFOLK, Va.. -- The University of Delaware baseball squad opened Colonial Athletic Association play with a big win Friday night as the Blue Hen scored four runs in the first inning and stayed in front the rest of the way in an 8-6 victory over host Old Dominion at the Bud Metheny Complex.
Delaware (6-8, 1-0 CAA), which snapped a two-game losing streak, banged out nine hits, including three from freshman shortstop Brock Niggebrugge (at right), on the way to the victory. Six different Blue Hens knocked in a run in a balanced effort.
The two teams ill continue their CAA-opening three-game set with a 3 p.m. game on Saturday and the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Delaware senior ace Eric Young improved to 3-0 on the mound as he went seven innings, allowing five hits and six earned runs, while striking out five. He had his season-opening string of 23 straight innings without allowing an earned run snapped in the third when the Monarchs scored four times, but he settled down and got the victory.
Jeff Murray got one out in the eighth and Stephen Richter finished it off, getting the final four outs - all on strikeouts - to earn his first save of the season.
Delaware outfielder Nick Ferdinand knocked in two runs to lead the UD attack with DJ Long, Alex Maruri, Ryan Hartley, Niggebrugge, and Andrew Burgess also knocking in runs.
Old Dominion, picked No. 3 in the CAA pre-season Coaches Poll, fell to 3-9 (0-1 CAA). Delaware was picked seventh in the pre-season poll.
The Hens jumped quickly, scoring four times in the first inning to take control. Cameron Travalini drew a walk to open the game and scored on a double by Long just one batter later. Maruri, Hartley, and Niggebrugge each followed with run-scoring singles to put the Hens up 4-0.
Delaware took a 5-0 lead in the third inning when Maruri scored on a wild pitch but the Monarchs answered, getting four runs off Young in the bottom of the inning. Shawn Sizemore ended Young’s long string of scoreless innings with an RBI triple and Chris Baker later added a two-run home run.
But the Hens came right back, scoring once in the fourth and twice in the fifth to push the lead to 8-4. Ferdinand knocked in a run with a single in the fourth and picked up another RBI when he walked with the bases loaded in the fifth.
The Monarchs made a late push, scoring twice in the eighth inning, but could never get closer than their two-run deficit. Murray relieved Young with one out in the eighth and gave up a two-run double to Josh Tutwiler to cut the lead to 8-6, but Richter came in to get the final out when he struck out Austin McGowan. Richter finished the Monarchs off by striking out the side in the ninth.