Crosstown Rival Blue Hens Take 6-2 Decision in Wildcats' Final Nonconference Contest
Base: WU 2 - Delaware 6
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - Newark, Del.
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Senior Ryan Lally toosed 5.1 innings with a strikeout on Tuesday
Junior BJ Janney batted 2-for-4 with a double at Delaware
Playing in its annual instate rivalry game, the Wilmington University baseball team dropped a 6-2 decision to NCAA Division I rival University of Delaware on Tuesday night at Bob Hannah Stadium.
The loss snapped a string of three consecutive victories for the Wildcats (28-16 overall) over its cross town rival and a two game win streak overall. Delaware (21-22) broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning to snap a four game losing streak.
Wilmington tied the game with a single run in the top of the fifth, but Delaware responded with a run in the home half of the inning and tacked on runs in the seventh and eighth inning while its three relievers did not allow a run in the final four innings to take the game.
Wildcat starter Ryan Lally allowed a run on two hits in the first inning but shut down the Blue Hens in the next two innings to give the offense a chance.
The bats tied the game in the top of the third inning, capitalizing on a hit-by-pitch in the inning by Delaware starter Dan Gatto. With one out, Kyle Hitchens took a pitch to put a runner on. BJ Janney then took the first pitch her saw to right field, passed Nick Ferdinand and to the warning track. Once the ball got past Ferdinand, Hitchens was able to score from first, sliding home in front of the throw for the 1-1 tie.
After Delaware took a 2-1 lead with a single run in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats responded in their next at-bat to re-lock the game in the top of the fifth.
With two outs and the bases empty, Janney worked a walk to start the two-out rally. Joe Harbach chopped one through the right side to put runners on first and third. As Gatto came set with Mike Godwin at the plate, Harbach took off for second, looking to draw a throw. Gatto stepped off and put Harbach in a run-down, but Janney raced home as the throw to the plate was wide for the 2-2 tie.
But the Blue Hens responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead for good. A leadoff walk and a failed pickoff attempt put a runner on third with no outs in the inning. After Lally got one out on a foul pop up, Delaware’s Alex Maruri lofted one to deep left field, scoring DJ Long from third on the sacrifice fly. The Blue Hens would not relinquish the lead.
Delaware added insurance runs in seventh and two more in the eight to come to the final score of 6-2.
Wilmington left two runners on base in the top of the sixth inning and hit into a pair of double plays in the seventh and eighth innings to kill one-out rallies in each frame.
The Wildcats got two runners on with one out in the top of the ninth inning on a leadoff walk and an infield single by Brendan Fallers, but Blue Hen closer Steve Richter got back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
Janney led the Wildcats with two hits, including his double in the third. Harbach, Godwin, Frank Samluk, Brandon Payne and Fallers all picked up one hit apiece for Wilmington, rounding out the team with seven hits in the game.
Lally tossed 5.1 innings with one strikeout, but gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits. He was saddled with the loss, dropping him to 3-4 overall on the season. Gatto picked up the win for the Blue Hens as he threw five innings, striking out three while allowing two unearned runs on three hits.
Today was the final nonconference game of the season for the Wildcats, as they finish up the out-of-conference games with a 15-10 overall record for the 2012 season.
Wilmington has one game remaining on its regular season schedule and the Wildcats control their own destiny in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference standings with earning the CACC Tournament First Round bye. The Wildcats face Philadelphia on the road tomorrow, and a win will keep them in second heading into the tournament starting next week. The first pitch is slated for 3:00 p.m. in Philadelphia.