First Inning Runs Jump Start Delaware Baseball in 8-5 Victory Over George Mason in CAA Series Opener
May 4, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
FAIRFAX, Va. – A four-run first inning provided the cushion needed for the University of Delaware in its 8-5 victory over host George Mason in game one of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball weekend series Friday afternoon at Spuhler Field.
A 71-minute rain delay could not derail Delaware (22-22, 12-10 CAA), which returned to the .500 mark and snapped its three-game CAA losing skid. George Mason (32-18, 15-10 CAA) saw its three-game winning streak end.
The Blue Hen offense collected 13 hits in the victory with second baseman DJ Long leading the charge with his first three-hit game of the season. Joe Giacchino, Alex Maruri, Tyler Powell, and Jimmy Yezzo also collected two hits apiece with Powell also knocking in two runs.
Eric Young (5-3) earned the victory for the Blue Hens after the right-hander held the Patriots to four earned runs on eight hits over five innings of work. Stephen Richter (S, 7) locked down the four-out save - his seventh of the season - as he surrendered just one earned run and had two strikeouts.
Delaware jumped to an early 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Long hammered a leadoff double to the left-center field gap. Nick Ferdinand followed with a double down the left-field line that plated Long for the game’s first run. Yezzo added a RBI single up the middle that drove in Ferdinand. A RBI triple to left center by Maruri delivered Yezzo from first base. Powell lifted a sacrifice fly to right field that knocked in Maruri for the final run of the frame.
In the top of the fourth inning the Blue Hens added to their lead after EJ Stoltzfus slapped a single into center field and advanced to second after Brock Niggebrugge reached on a bunt single. Long delivered a two-out, RBI single to left field that scored Stoltzfus for a 5-0 advantage.
The Patriots narrowed the gap in the bottom of the fourth inning after Mick Foley cracked a leadoff double to left field. After Josh Leemhuis grounded to second, Jake Leonardo collected a RBI on a groundout to shortstop.
Delaware seized an 8-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning after Yezzo and Maruri lined singles to jump start the frame. Powell added a RBI single to left field that scored Yezzo and moved Maruri to second. Stoltzfus reached on a fielder’s choice that eliminated Maruri at third while Powell moved to second on the play. Giacchino collected a RBI
single to right field that drove in Powell.
Following the rain delay, the Patriots mounted a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning. Foley drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a Leemhuis single to center field. Leonardo singled to left center to load the bases for Cook, who was then hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Allen lifted a sacrifice fly that drove in Leemhuis while Leonardo tagged up and reached third base. Brig Tison knocked in Leonardo on a fielder’s choice as the Patriots cut their deficit in half at 8-4.
Anthony Montefusco (4-3) suffered the defeat for the Patriots after he failed to complete five innings on the mound. The right-hander yielded
eight earned runs on 12 hits.
The teams will continue the three-game series Saturday with a 2 p.m. game at Spuhler Field. UD will turn to right-hander Corey Crispell (4-3, 4.06 ERA) while GMU will counter with right-hander Ryan Pfaeffle (5-4, 3.68 ERA).