Pitching, Power Lead Delaware to Sweep Over Georgia State; Hens Secure CAA Tournament Berth
May 12, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
ATLANTA – Corey Crispell’s pitching along with Alex Maruri’s and Jimmy Yezzo’s power provided the punch needed for the University of Delaware as the Blue Hens swept Georgia State, 4-1 and 11-6, in Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association’s baseball doubleheader at the Georgia State Baseball Complex.
Delaware (26-23, 16-11 CAA) enjoyed its first doubleheader sweep of the season and first since 2010, when the Blue Hens swept Delaware State and Farleigh Dickinson in the span of a week. The sweep gave the Blue Hens a 12-3 CAA road record this spring.
The doubleheader sweep by Delaware clinched a spot in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Tournament to be held May 23-26 at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.
Georgia State (22-30, 12-15 CAA) suffered its 30th loss of the season after being swept in the doubleheader, in part because the Panthers committe nine errors.
Yezzo showcased the power with his left-handed swing as Delaware’s first baseman went 4-10 in the doubleheader with two home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored. Designated hitter Maruri added three hits, which included one double and one home run, with two RBI and two runs scored. Second baseman DJ Long also collected base knocks in both games while scoring three runs.
In game one, UD starter Crispell (at right) kept the Panthers in check over eight innings on the mound en route to his team-leading sixth victory of the season. The senior right-hander, who improved to 6-3, was charged with one earned run on three hits with four strikeouts. Devon Pearson completed the game with a hitless inning of relief in the ninth inning.
Delaware’s Chad Kuhl (4-4) earned his second-straight victory in game two of the doubleheader after he scattered five earned runs on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. Eric Buckland earned his second save of the season after he stymied Georgia State over 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, holding the Panthers to just three hits.
The Blue Hens tallied three runs in the top of the sixth inning in game one of the doubleheader. Long lined a single to left field and then moved to second after Nick Ferdinand’s walk. A two-run double by Yezzo to the right-center field gap put Delaware on the scoreboard. After a wild pitch advanced Yezzo to third base, Maruri lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that gave UD a 3-0 lead.
Maruri smashed his second home run of the season, a leadoff, solo blast in the top of the ninth inning, down the left-field line to give Delaware an insurance run and a 4-0 advantage.
Georgia State’s Joey Wood smacked a leadoff double in the bottom of the ninth inning and the next batte, Mark Hogan, was hit by a pitch. After a fielder’s choice by Greg Bowder moved Wood to third and eliminated Hogan at second, a Caden Bailey groundout plated Wood for the Panthers’ only run. Pearson got the next two batters to groundout to clinch the win for the Hens.
Panthers starter Ben Marshall (5-6) suffered the loss despite the right-hander tossing nine innings. He surrendered four earned runs on four hits and had seven strikeouts in the defeat.
The Blue Hens’ offense continued to shine in game two as Delaware took a 3-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Yezzo hammered his first home run of the twinbill to lead off the frame. Maruri followed with a line drive double down the left-field line. After Maruri reached third on a groundout, EJ Stoltzfus collected a RBI double down the right-field line. A throwing error by GSU second baseman Bowder on Brock Niggebrugge’s groundball delivered Stoltzfus for the frame’s third run.
In the top of the fifth inning, Long singled into left field and moved to second after Maruri drew a two-out walk. Chris Branigan launched a RBI single to center field that drove in Long and gave Delaware a 4-0 advantage.
Delaware broke open the game in the top of the sixth inning after Joe Giacchino jump-started the inning with a bunt single down the third-base line. Stotzfus coaxed a walk before Niggebrugge reached on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt that eliminated Giacchino at third base. Long drew a walk that loaded the bases for Ferdinand, who reached on a GSU error with Niggebrugge and Stoltzfus scoring and Long dashing to third base. A second error in the inning committed by GSU second baseman Roy Seltenrijch on Yezzo’s ground ball delivered Long and handed Delaware a 7-0 lead.
The Panthers responded in the bottom of the sixth inning for six runs. With two outs, Landon Bennett singled to center field and advanced to third on Adams’ single through the right side. With runners on the corners, Wood tallied a RBI single to right field that scored Bennett and moved Adams to second base. The bases were reloaded after Scott Sarratt and Hogan were hit by pitches. Bowder hammered a two-run single to right field that delivered Wood and Sarratt as Hogan reached third base. Drew Shields was hit by a pitch and Brandon Williams followed with a two-run single.
Delaware scored two more runs to take a 9-6 lead in the top of the seventh inning. Branigan drew a one-out walk and reached second after Giacchino’s sacrifice bunt. A single by Stoltzfus pushed Branigan to third base. Niggebrugge plated Branigan on a groundout and Ty Warrington drove home Stoltzfus for the innings’ second run after another GSU error.
In the top of the eighth inning, Ferdinand reached on a double to left center and trotted home on Yezzo’s second home run on the day as the Blue Hens lead increased to five at 11-6.
Tyler Claburn (4-3) suffered the defeat for the Panthers after the right-hander yielded four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched. The
Blue Hens will play their final mid-week game of the season this Tuesday, May 15, as Delaware hosts Saints Joseph’s University at 3 p.m. at Bob Hannah Stadium.