Ninth Inning Rally Sparks Blue Hens to 6-4 Victory over JMU in CAA Series Opener
March 30, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HARRISONBURG, Va. – The University of Delaware’s baseball team pulled out a two-run, ninth-inning rally and nipped the James Madison University Dukes, 6-4, Friday night in Colonial Athletic Association action at JMU’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Delaware (12-14, 5-5 CAA), which won its second straight, allowed the CAA pre-season favorite James Madison (6-19-1, 1-9 CAA) to score in the first two innings but handcuffed the Dukes and kept them scoreless over the final seven frames to ensure the victory in game one of their CAA, weekend series.
The teams will continue play Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and finish the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Veteran's Memorial Park will be the site of the six-team CAA Tournament in May.
Tied in the top of the ninth inning, Delaware loaded the bases behind singles by Tyler Powell, Chris Branigan and Cameron Travalini. With the sacks packed, Ryan Hartley drove in the eventual game winning run from third base on a fielder’s choice that eliminated Branigan at second. A wild pitch uncorked by JMU reliever Chris Huffman brought home Travalini for the final run of the game.
The Blue Hens struck first in the top of the first inning after DJ Long lined a single to left field and advanced to second on a groundout. Nick Ferdinand laced a RBI double down the right-field line that plated Long and gave UD an early one-run lead, 1-0.
With two outs in the bottom of the opening frame, James Madison’s Cole McIntruff singled up the middle and reached second base on Conner Brown’s single to left field. Case Gross slapped a RBI single to center field that delivered McIntruff as the Dukes tied the game.
Following a walk drawn by Evan Scott that loaded the bases, Aaron Hoover struck out but reached on a passed ball by UD catcher Ty Warrington that allowed Brown to score as JMU captured a one-run lead, 2-1.
In the bottom of the second inning, Ian Haynes collected a leadoff single and dashed home on Delaware left fielder Nick Ferdinand’s fielding error on Colby Roberts’ RBI single and advanced to second on the play. Bradley Shaban added a RBI double down the left-field line that scored Roberts as the Dukes lead increased to 4-1.
Delaware’s Jimmy Yezzo collected a one-out walk in the top of the third inning that was followed by Powell’s single to left-center field. The bases were filled after Branigan was hit by a pitch. Travalini then cracked a RBI single through the right side that plated Yezzo and brought the Blue Hens within two runs at 4-2.
UD knotted the game at 4-4 in the top of the fourth inning when Brock Niggebrugge doubled to left-center field and advanced on a wild pitch. Yezzo smashed a RBI double to right center that knocked in Niggebrugge and Ferdinand for the game-tying runs.
Blue Hens reliever Devon Pearson (2-0) earned the victory for the Blue Hens after the southpaw held JMU scoreless with two hits, two walks and two strikeouts over 2.1 innings pitched.
Stephen Richter struck out the only batter he faced for the final out of the game as registered his second save of the season.
Delaware starter Eric Young was handed a no-decision after the righty tossed 6.1 innings and was charged with four runs (three earned) on seven hits, three walks, and three strikeouts.
Huffman (1-3) suffered the defeat for the Dukes after he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, and one strikeout over two innings.
James Madison’s starter Josh Fuller received a no-decision after the right-hander yielded two earned runs on five hits and three walks in three innings on the mound.
On Saturday, UD sends right-hander Corey Crispell (3-1, 1.79 ERA) to the mound while JMU counters with righty Patrick Toohers (0-1, 3.51).Back To Baseball Home Baseball Story Archive