Young’s Complete Game Leads Slugging Delaware to 11-3 Victory Over Hofstra in Second Round of CAA Baseball Championship
May 24, 2012
File Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Eric Young’s array of pitches helped the right-hander post a complete-game victory and the Blue Hens scored in each of the first four innings highlighted by a seven-run third as the University of Delaware defeated No. 2 seed Hofstra 11-3 Thursday night in the second round of the Colonial Athletic Association’s Baseball Championship at James Madison’s Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
With the victory, the Blue Hens (29-25) will continue their tournament run in the winner’s bracket and will face No. 1 seed UNCW (36-20) at noon Friday. UD will hand the ball to right-hander Chad Kuhl (5-4, 4.91 ERA) as the Blue Hens and Seahawks square off for the fourth time this season.
If UD wins that game, they will advance to the CAA title game on Saturday. A loss would mean the Blue Hens would play again on Friday at 7 p.m. in the losers bracket.
Delaware carried over its momentum from a 12-inning victory over Towson Wednesday as the Blue Hens hammered out 16 base hits, including five doubles, against Hofstra. Ty Warrington tallied a three-hit game while DJ Long, Nick Ferdinand, Jimmy Yezzo, Alex Maruri, Joe Giacchino and Brock Niggebrugge each had two hits in the Blue Hens' offensive explosion. Nick Ferdinand collected three RBI on a base-clearing double in the third inning while Yezzo and Powell each added two runs batted in for the Hens.
“We just came out of the gates swinging the bats tonight,” Delaware head coach Jim Sherman said with a smile after the Blue Hens produced their highest post-season run output since defeating Hofstra 13-2 in the second round of the 2005 CAA Tournament. “Obviously that seven spot in the third inning was a difference-maker and here we sit with two wins in the tournament.”
Young (6-4) (at right) needed 130 pitches to hold the CAA's top-rated offense in check for his second complete game of the season. The senior held the Pride to three earned runs on 10 hits while striking out seven Hofstra batters. Hofstra (33-21) had entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in scoring at 8.1 runs per game and second in batting average at .336.
“Eric pitched a brilliant game and we need that great pitching.” said Sherman. “He helped us immensely. He kept us out of the bullpen and fresh, ready to go for tomorrow.”
“It made things a lot easier (having an 11-0 lead to work with),” stated Young. “Having that lead allowed me to stay in my game, fill up the zone, and force early contact on the ground.”
Hofstra was held scoreless through the first four innings, and before the Pride could manufacture a run, they were trailing the Blue Hens by double-digits. The trio of CAA Player of the Year Danny Poma, Matt Reistetter and T.J. Thomas each had two hits in the loss with Thomas clouting a solo home run in the seventh inning.
Pride starter John Tiedemann (7-5) suffered the defeat for Hofstra as he was charged with nine runs (four earned) on 10 hits and never got out of the third inning.
The Blue Hens drew first blood in the top of the first inning as Long lined a leadoff single up the middle and sprinted to second on Yezzo’s single through the right side. Maruri followed with a single up the middle that loaded the bases. A Powell groundout to third resulted in Long scoring the game’s first run. Giacchino then legged out an RBI infield single that drove home Yezzo as Delaware claimed the early 2-0 lead.
Ferdinand laced a two-out single into left field in the top of the second inning and raced round the bases on Yezzo’s RBI double off the left-center field wall as UD seized a three-run edge.
Delaware blew the doors down with a seven-run frame in the third stanza. Giacchino reached on a one-out, bunt single down the third-base line. After Giacchino stole second base, Niggebrugge dropped a single into shallow center field that moved Giacchino to third base. After EJ Stoltzfus reached on a fielding error by Hofstra third baseman, Kevin Flynn, that loaded the bases, Warrington plated Giacchino on a RBI single to center field and kept the sacks packed. A two-out, three-run double to the left-center field gap by Ferdinand opened the inning for the Blue Hens. Yezzo was intentionally walked for Maruri, who hammered a two-run double to the left-center field wall that cleared the bases. Powell added a RBI double to right center for the final run of the inning and a 10-0 Blue Hens advantage.
Delaware illuminated the scoreboard for the fourth-straight inning after Warrington collected a one-out single into left-center field. He reached second base on a fielder’s choice and then sprinted home on a wild pitch as Delaware’s lead moved to 11-0.
Hofstra tallied one run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Reistetter smacked a leadoff single to right field and dashed to second base on a wild pitch. Poma added a RBI single through the left side to finally put the Pride on the scoreboard.
A solo home run of over the center field wall by Thomas in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Pride a spark but a comeback never materialized. Austin Nyman followed with a single to right field and sprinted to third on Poma’s single to left center.
A double-steal resulted in Nyman stealing home for Hofstra’s third and final run. The Pride was held to less than four runs for just the 10th time in 44 games this season.