Seven-Run Sixth Inning Fuels 11-4 University of Delaware Baseball Victory Over Monmouth in Series Finale
March 3, 2013
NEWARK, Del. – A seven-run sixth inning provided the decisive blow in the University of Delaware baseball team's 11-4 victory over Monmouth Sunday afternoon in the non-conference series finale at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Delaware (5-4) claimed its first weekend series of the season by winning the final two games against Monmouth (2-5) by a combined score of 16-8. Monmouth had taken the opener 7-3 on Friday.
“Last year we struggled at home and it was good to see us get that first series win early,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “It’s tough to sweep anyone, but winning two out of three is always our ultimate goal.”
The decisive sixth inning saw the Blue Hens have 11 men step to the plate as Monmouth used three pitchers in the frame. Run-scoring doubles by Jimmy Yezzo (below left), Ty Warrington, and Joe Giacchino provided the bulk of the offensive charge as UD slugged six hits in the game-changing inning.
Six different Delaware batters collected two base knocks apiece and accounted for 12 of the 13 hits in Sunday’s win. It was the third-straight game that the Hens ratcheted 10-plus hits.
Zach Lopes (above right) made a splash in his Delaware home debut as the Wilmington native collected eight hits during the three-game series that included a four-hit game on Saturday. Lopes also tallied base knocks in seven-straight at bats, which is the third-longest streak in UD history behind Reid Gorecki’s nine at-bat streak in 2002 and John Kochmansky’s eight at-bat streak in 1987.
“We were trying to get more production out of third base,” Sherman said about Lopes starting at the hot corner. “He has definitely provided a spark in the lineup.”
With a pair of doubles, Yezzo extended his career-long hitting streak to 20 games.
“He might get a hit in every game if possible,” Sherman said about Yezzo’s hitting streak. “Yezzo is such a free swinger. He will get his share of base hits this season.”
Warrington’s sixth-inning, two-run double kept the catcher’s hitting streak alive at six games.
Nick Ferdinand produced a .625 (5-for-8) batting average over the weekend with five RBI and started Sunday’s key sixth inning with a lead-off single.
Adam Davis (1-2) earned his first Delaware victory as the right-hander held the Hawks scoreless over 3.2 innings on the mound with two hits and four strikeouts.
The Hawks had their opportunities in the game as MU belted 11 hits in the game but left 12 men on the base paths. Dan Shea led Monmouth with three hits while Danny Avella went 2-for-4 that included a two-run double in the sixth inning.
Anthony Ciavarella (0-1) suffered the loss for Monmouth as the reliever could not register one out in the sixth inning. The three men he faced reached on two hits and a fielding error. All three base runners would eventually score later in the seven-run inning.
Delaware starter Eric Buckland received a no-decision after the right-hander left the game in the fifth inning. Buckland was charged with four runs (three earned) on eight hits, one walk, and two strikeouts in his third start of the season.
Monmouth starter Jonathan Shippee was also handed a no-decision after he held the Blue Hens to two runs on four hits and one walk in three innings.
The Blue Hens will begin their mid-week schedule on Tuesday, March 5 as Delaware hosts UMBC at 2:30 p.m. at Bob Hannah Stadium.
“It was one of our go-to’s all the time in the 80’s, 90’s, and the early 2000’s,” said Sherman about Delaware’s past mid-week game performances. “Winning mid-week games helps put together a good record and we have to really come out of the gate against UMBC on Tuesday.”
Delaware will hand the ball to right-hander Connor Hibbs while UMBC has yet to name a starter in the game.