Timely Hitting, Quality Pitching Hands Blue Hens an 8-4 Victory Over Temple in 2013 Season Opener at Ron Fraser Classic
February 15, 2013
File Photo Courtesy of University of Cathy Kushner
CARY, N.C. –Timely hitting by Nick Ferdinand and Jimmy Yezzo along with quality starting pitching from Chad Kuhl handed the University of Delaware baseball team an 8-4 victory over Temple University in the 2013 season opener Friday afternoon in the Ron Fraser Classic at the USA National Baseball Training Complex.
In its 131st season opener, Delaware (1-0) outhit Temple (0-2), 8-7, as the Owls lost their second game of the day.
“Timely hitting in the middle of the order and quality starting pitching will allow us to win a lot of ballgames,” Delaware head coach Jim Sherman said. “It was a good opener for us, but we made some mistakes that we will correct the more we play.”
Ferdinand, a Blue Hen captain, and Yezzo, the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Pre-Season Co-Player of the Year, continued their hitting streaks that carried over from the 2012 season. Ferdinand went 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored that extended his hitting streak to six games while Yezzo, saw his hitting streak lengthen to 12 games after he went 2-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored.
Kuhl (1-0) cruised to his first victory of the season after the right-hander yielded two runs (one earned) on two hits, three walks and two strikeouts in six innings on the mound.
Blue Hen reliever Chris Branigan earned his first save of the season after entering the game with one out and two runners on the bases in the top of the ninth inning. The left-hander forced a pop out while striking out the final batter of the game that locked down the victory.
Reliever Dan Gatto bridged the gap for Delaware after he allowed two runs on five hits and two strikeouts while pitching 2.1 innings.
Preston Hill (0-1) suffered the loss for the Owls after the right-hander surrendered five earned runs on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
After Joe Giacchino reached second base following a bunt and a throwing error on Temple starter Hill, an RBI double to the left-center field gap by Ferdinand handed the Blue Hens an early 1-0 advantage in the opening frame.
Temple’s Nick Lustrino smacked a one-out double down the left field line in the top of the third inning and advanced to third on a throwing error by Hens shortstop Brock Niggebrugge that allowed Lustrino to reach on a groundball. Allen Stiles lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that plated Lustrino and knotted the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Delaware seized a 3-1 advantage when Giacchino reached on a fielder’s choice and raced around the bases on Yezzo’s run-scoring triple to the left-center field wall. Ferdinand added a second RBI double down the left-field line that scored Yezzo for the second run in the inning.
Back-to-back walks to Ty Powell and EJ Stoltzfus started the fourth inning for the Blue Hens. Ty Warrington dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line that moved the runners into scoring position. Niggebrugge lifted a sacrifice fly to left field that delivered Powell and handed UD a three-run edge, 4-1.
The Hens seized a 5-1 in the fifth inning after Ferdinand drew a two-out walk, stole second base and dashed home on Branigan’s single up the middle.
The Owls added a run in the top of the sixth inning when Derek Peterson coaxed a lead-off walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and reached third base on a groundout. Connor Reilly drove in Temple’s second run of the game with a single to right field that delivered Peterson and brought TU within three runs, 5-2.
Delaware added three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after the bases were loaded after Yezzo slapped a single up and Ferdinand and Powell each drew walks. With two outs, a fielding error by Temple third baseman Elijah Yarborough on a Stoltzfus ground ball scored Yezzo and kept the sacks packed. Warrington hammered a key two-out, two-run double to left center that knocked home Powell and Ferdinand and made the lead 8-2.
In the top of the ninth inning Temple began the frame with back-to-back singles by Reilly and Daniel Dragos. Michael D’Acunti knocked a RBI single through the right side that plated Reilly while Dragos reached second base. Following a wild pitch that moved the runners into scoring position, Arnott collected a run-scoring single to center field and knocked in Dragos. Branigan would enter the game and eliminate the final two outs putting an end to the Owls ninth-inning rally and gave the Blue Hens an 8-4 season-opening triumph.
The Blue Hens will play a second game in the opening day of the Ron Faser Classic against the University of Toledo at 7 p.m. as UD will hand the ball to right-hander Adam Davis.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, Delaware will play a day-night doubleheader against Canisius and LaSalle. Eric Buckland will take the mound for Delaware in the 2:30 p.m. game vs. Canisius while Matt Soren will pitch against LaSalle.