Walks & Errors Trump the Long Ball as Delaware Baseball Falls to Towson, 19-14, in CAA Weekend Finale
March 10, 2013
TOWSON, Md. – Four errors and a program-record 15 walks trumped a DJ Long grand slam and Joe Giacchino (at right) two-run blast as the University of Delaware baseball team fell to Towson University, 19-14, in the Colonial Athletic Association weekend-series finale Sunday afternoon at John B. Schuerholz Park.
Delaware (8-5, 2-1 CAA) saw its five-game winning streak end while Towson improved to 7-6 overall and 1-2 in the CAA. The Hens and Tigers combined for 29 hits as 16 of the 19 batters who stepped to the plate for both schools tallied at least one base knock.
“We were primed for a sweep and it was the Sunday blues,” said Delaware head coach Jim Sherman. “The team pitched and played defense so well in the first two games of the series. It's a shame that we ended the weekend on a down note.”
Six Blue Hens pitchers set a new Delaware record with 15 walks in the game. The previous mark of 13 was set on March 13, 1973 vs. the University of Central Florida.
Towson ended an 18.1 consecutive-scoreless innings streak with one run in the bottom of the first inning. After being held scoreless in the third inning, the Tigers tallied runs in each of the final five innings TU batted.
Trailing the Tigers by four runs in the second inning, Delaware would take a 6-4 lead with a six-run third inning. Two innings and 12 runs later the score was knotted at 11-11 entering the bottom of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Towson would score five runs and seize a 16-11 lead that the Tigers would never relinquish.
The Blue Hens had scoring opportunities over the final three innings of the game, but three of Towson’s four double-plays converted would eliminate each of UD’s rallies.
“It was a game where we needed to score 20 runs,” said Sherman. “It won’t be the last time this season that we will have to battle and outscore a team.”
Delaware outhit Towson, 16-13, as Cameron Travalini and Giacchino led the Hens with three hits and three RBI apiece.
Giacchino hit his two-run shot in the fifth inning and was a double short of the cycle as the Hens lead-off hitter owns a nine-game hitting streak. He as registered hits in 11 of the 12 games played this season.
Long went 2-for-4 that included his third home run of the series, a grand slam in the third inning. He finished the game with two hits, four RBI and two runs scored.
“DJ had a good series and it seems like his swing has bounced back,” said Sherman.
Towson clubbed three home runs in the game by Andrew Parker, Hunter Bennett and Domonic Fratanuono. A three-hit game with two RBI and two runs scored by Fratanuono paced the Tigers offense.
Towson reliever Mike Ryan (4-1) received the win after the southpaw limited Delaware to three earned runs on four hits, two walks, and two strikeouts over the final four innings.
Dan Gatto (0-1) suffered the loss after he was charged with seven earned runs on four hits, three walks, and one strike out in two innings of relief for the Blue Hens.
Blue Hen starter Eric Buckland tossed three innings on the mound and was handed a no-decision he yielded seven runs (six earned) on five hits, five walks, and four strikeouts.
Towson starter Brandon Gonnella also received a no-decision after he surrendered seven earned runs on nine hits, two walks, and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.
The Blue Hens will return to Bob Hannah Stadium on Wednesday, March 13 at 1:00 p.m., when Delaware hosts Delaware State in a Route One Rivalry doubleheader.
“It will be a fun day for the kids playing in-state competition,” said Sherman. “I’m looking for the team to bounce back and give a strong effort.”
Left-hander Brandon Hinkle (0-0, 0.00 earned-run average) will take the mound for the Blue Hens in game one while right-hander Connor Hibbs (1-0, 7.94 ERA) is scheduled to start game two against the Hornets. Delaware State has yet to name starters for the doubleheader.