Delaware Baseball Travels to George Mason and Battle the Patriots in CAA Weekend Series
May 3, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. – The University of Delaware Blue Hens baseball team travels to Fairfax, Virginia to battle the George Mason University Patriots in a three-game, Colonial Athletic Association weekend series. Game one is set for Friday, May 4, with first pitch set for 3 p.m. The action continues on Saturday with a 2 p.m. start while Sunday’s finale has a 1 p.m. game time.
The Blue Hens look to continue an above-.500 record and remain in CAA playoff contention as the Blue Hens enter the weekend series with their mid-week victory over Division II Wilmington University on Tuesday. George Mason swept their two mid-week games, a 7-4 victory over Richmond on Tuesday and 5-3 win over Maryland on Wednesday. George Mason sits third in the CAA with a 15-9 conference record while Delaware is holding onto he fourth spot in the association with an 11-10 record.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
The Patriots (30-17, 15-9 CAA), who was ranked sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association’s preseason coach’s poll, enters the weekend series after two wins over Richmond and Maryland this week. GMU is currently riding a three-game winning streak and have won seven of the last nine games the Patriots have played. The Patriots’ longest winning streak of the season was from April 1-11, when GMU posted a six-game winning streak. George Mason owns a 15-6 (8-4 CAA) home record and has yet to lose a weekend series to a conference foe this season.
George Mason’s offense enters the weekend series against the Blue Hens ranked ninth in the CAA with a .273 (454-for-1666) batting average. GMU has sits fourth in the CAA with 282 runs scored and 245 RBI but lead the conference with 355 strikeouts. Brig Tison, who was named CAA player of the Week earlier this year, leads the Patriots bats with a .361 (73-202) batting average. Tison’s 73 hits put him third in the CAA leaders. Dan Schafferman sits seventh in the CAA with 60 hits in 47 games while ranks second on GMU’s roster with a .330 (60-182) batting average. Zack Helgeson leads the CAA with 11 home runs and second in the league with 32 walks. Helgeson, a former CAA Player of the Week winner, also sits in the CAA leaderboard in doubles (17), RBI (39), total bases (99) and slugging percentage (.579).
Through a league-leading 49 games played, the Patriots pitching staff sits third in the CAA with a 3.76 (181 ER/433.0 IP) team earned-run average and leads the CAA with 20 saves. George Mason’s staff also leads the CAA with 338 strikeouts. Closer Chris O’Grady owns a 1-0 record with a league-leading 14 saves and a 0.57 (2 ER/31.1 IP) ERA. O’Grady’s 22 appearances puts him tied for fourth in the league. GMU also has to addition relievers with sub-3.00 ERA’s in Jake Kalish (1.64) and Brandon Bartlett (2.25).
BEHIND THE BLUE HEN NUMBERS
The Blue Hens (21-22, 11-10 CAA) enters the weekend series after they snapped a four-game losing skid with a victory over cross-town rivals, Wilmington University. Delaware has been a strong CAA road team this season as the Blue Hens have won all three, weekend road series and posted 7-2 record.
Delaware’s pitching staff sits fifth in the CAA with a team ERA of 4.98 (206 ER/372.0 IP) and ranks fourth in the association with 287 strikeouts. The Blue Hens pitching staff sits second on the CAA leaderboard with 7.52 strikeouts per nine innings. Devon Pearson (6) and Stephen Richter (5) rank in the top five of the CAA in saves. Pearson also sits in the top five of the country in ERA at 0.76 (3 ER/35.2 IP). Friday starter, Eric, Young (65.2), and Satruday starter, Corey Crispell (64.1), sit in the CAA top 10 in innings pitched.
The UD offense rests eighth in the CAA with a .273 (396-for-1444) batting average. Freshman Tyler Powell leads the Blue Hens and ranks ninth in the CAA with a .359 (46-128) batting average. Powell also leads the club with 13 multi-hit games and is riding a seven-game hitting streak. DJ Long (above right) is also riding a seven-game hitting streak as the junior second baseman also leads the Delaware offense with 22 extra-base hits (16 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs). Nick Ferdinand has collected a hit in 12 of his last 13 games played where the outfielder has hit .353 (18-for-51) during that span.
DELAWARE VS. GEORGE MASON SERIES HISTORY
Entering this weekend’s series Delaware and George Mason have played 72 times with the Blue Hens owning a 37-35 record over the Patriots. Last year, UD took swept the three-game weekend against George Mason at Bob Hannah Stadium. The first time the Blue Hens and Patriots played was in 1971.
Game One – Friday, 3:00 p.m. (Live Stats)
UD – Eric Young, Sr. RHP [4-4, 5.07 ERA (37 ER/65.2 IP), 47 SO]
Young looks to respond after suffering his fourth loss of the season in his last start on April 27, versus Hofstra. In 5.1 innings on the mound, Young surrendered 10 earned runs on 11 hits, three walks and two strikeouts. The right-hander enters the weekend series leading Delaware starters with a 65.2 innings pitched and a .260 opponent batting average. During the week of 2/28 he was named CAA Pitcher of the Week, after he tossed eight scoreless innings and held The Citadel on February 24, to three hits, two walks and six strikeouts for his first win of the season.
GMU – Anthony Montefusco, So.-R, RHP [4-2, 2.86 ERA (23 ER/72.1 IP), 58 SO]
Montefusco’s 2.86 ERA puts the right-hander in the CAA top five standings and ranks sixth in the league with a .235 opponent batting average. He earned a victory in his last start on April 27, versus James Madison. Held the Dukes to one earned run on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts in 6.0 innings pitched. The right-hander was named CAA Pitcher of the Week on March 6.
Game Two – Saturday, 2:00 p.m. (Live Stats)
UD – Corey Crispell, Sr.-r, RHP [4-3, 4.06 ERA (29 ER/64.1 IP), 41 SO]
Saturday’s game marks Crispell’s 10th start (12th appearance) for the Blue Hens this season. Was handed a hard-luck defeat in his last start on April 28 against Hofstra. The right-hander was charged with three runs (one earned), which were all scored in the first inning, on eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings. The senior has the lowest ERA among UD’s starters at 4.06. In Crispell’s nine starts this year, the Blue Hens have posted a 6-3 record.
GMU – Ryan Pfaeffle, Sr., RHP [5-4, 3.68 ERA (24 ER/58.2 IP), 37 SO]
Pfaeffle’s five wins put the senior in the CAA top 10 in wins. He suffered a defeat to JMU on April 28, in his last start. Pfaeffle yielded five earned runs on five hits, two walks and three strikeouts in six innings on the mound.
Game Three – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. (Live Stats)
UD – Chad Kuhl, So., RHP [2-4, 5.33 ERA (31 ER/52.1 IP), 48 SO]
Kuhl takes the ball for the 11th time this the season after earned a no-decision in his last start on April 29, against Hofstra. In a season-low 3.2 innings the sophomore accounted for eight runs (five earned) on nine hits, four walks and one strikeout. Kuhl leads the Blue Hens with 48 strikeouts and has tallied the Blue Hens only 10-strikeout game (March 18 vs. UNCW).
GMU – A.J. Johnson, Fr., RHP [6-4, 4.38 ERA (31 ER/63.2 IP), 36 SO]
Johnson’s six victories places the freshman tied for third in the CAA. He received a no-decision in his last start on April 29, in a home start against James Madison. In five innings pitched, Johnson yielded three earned runs on nine hits, two walks and three strikeouts. On April 2, the freshman was named CAA Pitcher of the Week.