Yezzo’s Runs Push Blue Hens to a 10-7 Victory Over James Madison in Saturday Night CAA Action
March 31, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Jimmy Yezzo reached base four times and scored three runs in leading the University of Delaware’s baseball team to a 10-7 victory over host James Madison Saturday night in Colonial Athletic Association action at JMU’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Delaware (13-14, 6-5 CAA), which won its third straight and downed the pre-season CAA favorites for the second straight night, erupted for 14 base hits on the night paced by Tyler Powell, who collected three knocks. James Madison (6-20-1, 1-10 CAA) produced 12 base hits in the game but lost for the third straight time and for the 15th time in the last 16 outings.
Delaware will look for its first series sweep of the season on Sunday when the teams meet a 1 p.m. in the series finale. The Blue Hens will send right-hander Chad Kuhl (1-4, 4.99) to the bump while the Dukes will counter with righty Evan Scott (0-3, 10.54).
In the top of the second inning, Yezzo lined a single up the middle and advanced to second base on Powell’s single to the right side. Following a groundout that moved the runners into scoring position, Cameron Travalini smacked a two-run single to center field that knocked Yezzo and Powell home as Delaware claimed an early 2-0 lead.
The Blue Hens offense continued to roll in the top of the third inning when Andrew Burgess connected on a leadoff single to right-center field. A throwing error by JMU starter Patrick Toohers on Brock Niggebrugge’s fielder’s choice allowed Burgess to reach second base on the play. Nick Ferdinand would capitalize on the JMU mistake with a RBI double to left-center field gap that delivered Burgess and increased the Blue Hens advantage to 3-0.
The Dukes knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the third inning when Aaron Hoover lined a single up the middle and raced to third on Chad Carroll’s double to left field. Cole McIntruff’s groundout drove in Hoover while Carroll reached third base. Following a walk to Tyler Duke, a RBI single through the right side by Casey Gross scored Carroll while Duke raced to third base. Colby Roberts added a RBI single to left field that knocked in Duke for JMU’s third run of the inning.
DJ Long lined a leadoff double down the left-field line in the top of the fifth inning and dashed to third base on a groundout. Ferdinand added a grounded out to second base that scored Long. With two outs, Yezzo coaxed a walk and sprinted to third base on Powell’s single. Chris Branigan ripped a RBI single up the middle that drove home Yezzo as the Blue Hens lead returned to two, 5-3.
Delaware took the lead for good as the Hens exploded for five runs in the top of the seventh inning and seized a 10-3 advantage behind RBI doubles by Yezzo, Travalini, and Long in addition to a RBI single by Ryan Hartley.
JMU tacked on a run in the bottom of the eighth inning after Gross singled through the left side and advanced to second on Brown’s single to center field. On a ground ball hit by Bradley Shaban resulted in a throwing error by UD shortstop Niggebrugge, which allowed Gross to score and brought the Dukes within six, 10-4.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, James Madison mounted a final rally when pinch hitter Evan Scott laced a leadoff double down the left-field line. A ground out advanced Scott to third base before McIntruff was hit by a pitch. With runners on the corners, Duke singled to left field to drive in Scott while McIntruff moved to second base. A groundout bumped the runners into scoring position for Roberts, who smacked a two-run single to left-center field that cleared the bases for the Dukes’ final runs of the game.
Delaware’s Corey Crispell (4-1) earned his third straight victory behind a solid seven innings on the mound as the right-hander held JMU to three earned runs on seven hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.
Stephen Richter earned his fourth save of the season and his second in as many nights after the southpaw struck out the only batter he faced.
Nick Slogik (0-2) suffered the defeat for the Dukes after he allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk in one inning of relief. Toohers received a no-decision after the JMU starter surrendered three runs (two earned) on five hits, two walks and one strikeout.