Blue Hens’ baseball win streak snapped vs. La Salle
The frustration continues for the Blue Hens.
The university’s baseball team was defeated this past Tuesday afternoon by the La Salle Explorers, 4-2. The Blue Hens were coming off a strong showing in the Delaware Classic, rolling out three consecutive wins, after starting the season 1-14.
The top of the first began with a solid effort from Blue Hens’ pitcher Jack Dubecq with two strikeouts and no runners allowed on base. In six games this season, Dubecq has one win and an ERA of 3.94 through 16 innings pitched. In the bottom of the inning, Delaware managed to get on base but the first would end scoreless.
But La Salle’s Ben Faso would provide the icebreaker with a home run to left field at the top of the second. Delaware then allowed two doubles and one walk, but they escaped the top without any further damage. The bottom of the second ended with the Blue Hens down a run and no runners getting on base. Faso built upon the lead in the top of the fourth after a scoreless third.
Delaware’s Jordan Hutchins nearly cut the lead after stealing two bases to make it to third, but it proved a fruitless effort. Another stalemate ensued until the top of the sixth when Faso scored his third run of the game after hitting for a double. It was at this point that Dubecq was swapped out for Winston Allen, one of three pitching changes for Delaware in the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, La Salle allowed two walks and one single to load the bases and set up a potential grand slam for Delaware. But the Blue Hens suffered two flyouts and one strike out, and after having three runners on base and no outs, failed to capitalize on a golden opportunity. Delaware finally got on the board with two runs from Kevin Mohollen and Erik Bowren in the bottom of the eighth.
“We were definitely up, going, getting fired up and not getting that big hit really set us back, but I think we came back strong in the eighth again,” Hutchins said. “I think we scored two runs in that inning and that made us feel a lot better, and then giving up another one in the ninth made it tough. But I think we still put together a couple good at bats in the ninth, just didn’t get another big hit.”
With the score 3-2 at the top of the ninth, La Salle’s Tommy Toal scored what would be the final run of the game to put his team on top 4-2. Delaware finished the game with two runs on eight hits, to La Salle’s four runs on 10 hits. With the loss, the Blue Hens fell to 4-15 on the season and the team’s winning streak stopped at three.
“This is the CAA, this is what it’s gonna be like for us, we’re a little bit down this year from an offensive standpoint,” Head Coach Jim Sherman said. “Have we gotten better? We have over the last five or six games.”
Despite the adversity his team has faced, Sherman remains optimistic.
“These are the types of games, the close games and the conference play that we gotta come up with a big hit, big pitch … we are young and we lost a couple of our mainstays … so given the fact that we’re 4-15 before conference play isn’t anything really to hang your hat on, but it is non-conference, and now we start conference play and it’s all a matter of what we do in conference so that’s the most important thing right now.”
The Blue Hens defeated James Madison University this past Friday, 5-3, in the opening game of their CAA conference play but lost in Saturday’s game, 11-2. The team lost, 7-4, on Sunday to the Dukes and are now 5-17 on the season.