Delaware, Louisville, The Citadel, and Rider pick up wins

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCES

Delaware 22 Temple 4

NEWARK, DE – Thirteen Blue Hens recorded at least one hit and five cracked home runs as the University of Delaware baseball team stormed past Temple, 22-4, at Bob Hannah Stadium on a warm Wednesday afternoon.

Scott Shockley and Pat Dameron (at right) both had three hits and a home run, while Jared Olson, Bill Merkler, and Josh Dean each chipped in with two hits and a long ball. Ryan Cuneo also extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a sixth-inning double.

Cuneo’s roll is now tied for the eighth longest streak in program history. Mike Gomez and George Gross share the all-time record with matching 28-game stretches.

The outcome was the most lop-sided victory for Delaware (20-28) over a Division I opponent since the Hens defeated Saint Joseph’s, 26-4, in 2004. The 22 runs were also the most scored by Delaware since the same game.

Although the contest eventually became one-sided, Temple (21-25) held an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Stan Orzechowski homered on the very first pitch of the game before Matt Heltz lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield later in the inning.

Following a Dameron home run in the bottom of the first that cut the Hens’ deficit in half, the floodgates opened in the team’s second trip to the plate. Delaware tacked on three runs in the second when Olson crushed a two-run homer down the right field line before Dean ripped a solo shot to left.

After going down quickly in the third, the Blue Hens struck for at least three runs in the next four innings of play. In the fourth, Delaware loaded the bases with one out before Kyle Davis notched an RBI fielder’s choice to open the scoring. A two-run single by Scott Shockley pushed the team’s lead to five at 7-2.

The team scored five more in the fifth when Merkler cranked a three run blast to centerfield, Davis ripped an RBI triple, and Dameron doubled-in the final run of the frame. With their lead stretched to double digits, the Hens continued their onslaught with 10 runs over the next two innings.

After scoring five in the fifth, the team fittingly came back to plate six in the sixth. Dean struck first with an RBI hit to center and was eventually chased in himself after Dameron lined a two-run single to left. With two runners still on base, Shockley cleared them with a three-run blast over the right field fence.

One inning later, Delaware’s reserve players helped highlight a four-run seventh that eventually capped the scoring for the Hens. Danny Overcash, who came in one inning earlier, led off with a base hit to center before Steve Ulaky notched a pinch hit single. Following another hit by Davis that loaded the bases, Jon Duvall, a late-inning defensive replacement, worked an RBI walk. Chris DiLullo followed with his third hit of the season on an RBI rope to right. Cuneo knocked in the next run with a sacrifice fly before Todd Menchaca, a sixth-inning substitution, laced an RBI single to left.

Leading by 20, Delaware allowed its last two runs of the game in the top of the eighth when Jamie Abercrombie notched a two-run double to right that cut the Hens’ lead to 22-4.

Although the offense was deservedly the story of the day, the Delaware pitching staff also did well. Following five strong innings by starter Corey Crispell (3-3), Alex Dalsey and Steve Spiese turned in scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh. After Joe Tebaldi worked himself out of a rough spot in the eighth, Matt Harden fired a hitless ninth to seal the victory.

Duvall also made the defensive play of the game at second base in the seventh when he completed a diving glove-hand stab on a rocket off the bat of Steve Nikorak. After regaining his footing, he easily doubled-up the Temple runner at first who was moving on the play.

Nikorak (1-3), who performed double-duty for the Owls, took the loss after surrendering four runs on five hits in three innings of work. After moving to first base, he eventually notched a hit of his own.

With the victory, Delaware has now out-scored its Big 5 opponents by a combined 55-9 margin this year. Earlier in the season, the Hens downed Saint Joseph’s, 17-2, before beating the Owls, 16-3, at Skip Wilson Field in April.

The win also marked the Hens’ 20th of the year. The program has now won 20 or more games in 36 consecutive seasons dating back to the 1972 campaign.

Delaware will return to action on Friday when the team opens its final home conference series of the season against Towson at 3 p.m. Senior Day festivities are scheduled for Saturday.

Louisville 8 Butler 1

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Five University of Louisville pitchers combined on a five hitter and for the second consecutive game the offense scored the final eight runs of the contest, as the Cards won their ninth straight, dropping Butler 8-1 Wednesday.

The Bulldogs(10-29) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Kyle Schultz.

Louisville (33-16) evened the game in the bottom of the second. Tyler Mickits hit a one out single, Kyle Cheesebrough walked and both moved up a station on a sac bunt by Drew Haynes. That lead to a ground ball off the bat of John Dao that resulted in a fielding error and the first run of the game for the Cardinals.

In the UofL half of the third Stewart Ijames smoked a two-out double to center and scored on an RBI single off the bat of Josh Richmond that proved to be the winning run.

Mickits then walked and a passed ball and a wild pitch plated Richmond for a 3-1 lead.

Dao blistered his second home run of the season out to left center on a 3-2 offering to open the fourth. He then singled to lead off the sixth, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error, before a fourth Bulldog wild pitch made it 5-1 Cards.

Louisville starter Matt Lea (4-0) tossed five innings, allowing the first inning run on four hits and a walk, striking out four to earn his fourth win of the season. The walk was the first issued by a Cardinal pitcher since the 8th inning of last Wednesday’s win over WKU, a stretch of 38.2 IP without a free pass.

Neil Holland allowed a hit and a walk in a scoreless sixth, striking out one. Jon Clarence fanned two and walked one in a hitless seventh, and James Belanger and B.J. Rosenberg each retired the side in order, striking out two apiece, working the eighth and ninth respectively.

The Cardinal offense closed the scoring in the eighth. Haynes doubled down the left field line and moved to third on a sac bunt by Dao that was mishandled by the Bulldog catcher, putting runners at the corners with nobody out. After Justin McClanahan was hit by a pitch to load the bases, consecutive wild pitches plated Haynes and Dao, and Chris Dominguez drilled a sacrifice fly to center that scored McClanahan.

Butler rolled eight pitchers onto the hill on a staff day, each logging an inning of work. The third hurler, Jamie Feldheiser (2-3) took the loss, allowing two runs, one of which was earned on two hits and a walk.

Dao was 2 for 4 with an RBI, three runs and three stolen bases, and is batting .463 with 11 runs, 10 RBI and nine steals in 10 attempts during the nine-game win streak, the longest of Dan McDonnell’s brief tenure as a head coach. Mickits and Ijames each had two hits for the Cards.

Cardinal pitchers have limited opponents to a .221 average, have posted a 2.89 ERA and struck out 91 in 81.0 IP, walking just 13 during the win streak.

Louisville, currently in a tie for fourth place with Seton Hall in the BIG EAST standings at 13-8, will travel to Morgantown, West Virginia where they will face the Mountaineers (11-10) in a three-game set, beginning with a doubleheader Saturday.

The Cards will wrap up the regular season with four home games next week at Jim Patterson Stadium. Admission is free.

The Citadel 14 Winthrop 7

Rock Hill, S.C. – Sophomores Richard Jones and Chris McGuiness both hit home runs Wednesday night as The Citadel overpowered Winthrop in an 14-7 win in front of 776 at The Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill.

The Citadel (25-23) scored 14 runs on 15 hits as the bats in the top half of the line-up came alive Wednesday night. Four of The Citadel’s top five hitters in the line-up went 13-for-18 with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI. Winthrop (21-30) scored seven runs on 15 hits and committed two errors.

Jones hit his 25th career home run as he sent the ball beyond the right field wall as he moved up to a tie for sixth in school history in career home runs. That mark ties the 25 home runs hit by Garrick Haltiwanger (1994-96). Jones finished the game with a 4-for-6 performance, scoring twice and driving in three.

McGuiness’s only hit of the game was a two-run home run in the third inning over the right field fence.

Sonny Meade tied a career-high five hits on the night as the Summerville, S.C. native scored three times and notched five RBI. Chris Swauger was 3-for-3 with two walks and scoring a season-high four runs in the game.

Brett Bull (2-1) was credited with the win after throwing 3.0 innings on the mound without allowing a run, giving up two hits and striking out three. Bull was one of eight Bulldog pitchers to take the mound in the game. Dane Yoder (1-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits in 2.1 innings on the mound.

The Bulldogs went up early in the game, scoring two runs in the top of the first before Winthrop rallied back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. McGuiness put The Citadel on top for good in the third with his two-run shot.

The Bulldogs tallied three more runs in the fifth, with two of the runs coming of Jones’ home run. Matt Arnold, who reached on a walk, eventually scored on a throwing error as Winthrop catcher Billy Froehlich’s throw sailed into center field as the Eagles tried to putout Conrad Kellahan at second.

An RBI double by Meade in the sixth and an RBI single in the eighth scored three more runs for the Bulldogs with McGuiness sending home another run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly. Winthrop would add four runs in the bottom of the eighth to pull within four at 11-7, but The Citadel would score three more runs in the ninth to secure the 14-7 victory.

With the win, The Citadel closes out an eight-game road stretch. The Bulldogs return home on Friday, May 9 to host Western Carolina in The Citadel’s final Southern Conference series of the season.

For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, visit the official home of The Citadel Athletics at CitadelSports.com.

Rider 8 Lafayette 7

LAWRENCEVILLE—Senior David Hayes (Sunrise, Fla./American Heritage) had three hits to lead Rider to a come-from-behind win over Lafayette Wednesday. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

“It’s just fun to win one,” said Rider head coach Barry Davis. “We put ourselves in a hole early, but we won the game, and that’s the goal. It’s good for the guys to know we can win a game. You are never as bad as you think you are, and we needed something like this to get us going again.”

Trailing 6-1, Rider (25-21) scored four runs in the sixth inning on three hits, including back-to-back doubles by junior Sean Olson (Vineland, N.J./St. Augustine Prep) and D. Hayes, a sacrifice fly by junior Maurice Williams (Ocean, N.J./Monmouth Regional) and an RBI bunt single by freshman John Ralston (Annandale, Va./Paul VI) to cut the lead to 6-5.

“Ralston did that on his own,” Davis said. “He told David (runner on third) he was doing it and executed it about as good as you can. His intent was to score the run but then he beat out the bunt for a hit.”

Ralston had two hits and two RBI for the Broncs.

Rider came back and scored three runs in the seventh inning on three hits, including an RBI single by D. Hayes to take an 8-6 lead. “We got a couple of big hits,” Davis said. “Olson had a big hit, David Hayes had a couple of big hits and Mo did a good job.”

Olson had two of Rider’s 11 hits and along with Williams each had two RBI. Olson now has 104 career RBI, 15th highest ever at Rider, and his total of 46 RBI this year is the most by a Bronc since the 2004 season. “Batting third or fourth in the line up, getting RBIs is my job, so I feel it is pretty important for me to do that,” Olson said. “I’m always trying to get RBIs.”

D. Hayes led off the second inning with a triple and scored Rider’s first run on an RBI single by Williams. “I got some good pitches to hit today,” D. Hayes said. “It was big to get a win today after falling down early. The past few games guys were hitting the ball hard, they just weren’t falling. I think we showed some pride today.”

D. Hayes was a home run shy of the cycle. “I’ve never hit for the cycle,” D. Hayes said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. The guys in the dugout were joking around about it, but I wasn’t thinking about it.”

Junior James Hayes (Sunrise, Fla./Piper) came in from right field to pitch the final one and one-third innings, striking out two for his eighth save of the season and the 23rd of his career.

Freshman Mike Thomas (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) pitched one and two-thirds innings of relief for the win, his team-high sixth. “Thomas did a good job,” Davis said.

Sophomore Brian Herman (Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan) pitched two and two-thirds innings of shutout relief after Lafayette (25-23) had taken a 6-1 lead. “I thought Herman did a great job,” Davis said.

The Broncs travel to Le Moyne for a three-game non-conference series this weekend. “Hopefully this game will allow us to carry some momentum into Le Moyne, which is always a tough place to play,” Davis said

“We were playing pretty well before the recent games, so it was important for us to get back on the winning track,” Olson said. “This way we can travel to Le Moyne with a little bit more confidence.”

The final home game of the season is May 13 against La Salle, and the regular season closes with a three-game MAAC series at Saint Peter’s May 16-17. “Getting ready for Saint Peter’s, that is our main focus,” Olson said, “but we’re taking it game by game. Obviously we want to win the games before Saint Peter’s and it feels good to get back on track.”

Rider is currently in fourth place in the MAAC (12-9). Rider hosts the four-team MAAC Championship tournament May 22-24 at Waterfront Park.