Delaware drops series to UNCW, falls to fifth in the CAA
The Blue Hens baseball team dropped the series at UNCW this past weekend, two game to one. The Hens (24-17, 10-8 CAA) had enjoyed a successful season so far, showcased by their recent six-game winning streak, but hit a bit of a wall this weekend down in North Carolina. Delaware has now dropped to fifth place in the CAA standings.
The Hens lost by a score of 16-5 in game one, a sloppy affair in which Delaware committed seven errors. Delaware allowed nine unearned runs in the contest, with Diaz Nardo and Kevin Mohollen (two hits apiece) the lone bright spots.
“Tonight was an extremely disappointing performance,” Delaware manager Jim Sherman said after the game. “We played poorly in all aspects of the game.”
The Hens bounced back on Saturday afternoon, led by a five-inning pitching gem from Ron Marinaccio. He had seven strikeouts and allowed just four hits and no runs. Burk FitzPatrick entered the game in the sixth inning and went on to pick up his fourth save of the year, as Delaware notched the 5-2 victory.
Nick Patten and Doug Trimble both had their 10th multi RBI game of the season to help the Hens win. UNCW brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth and FitzPatrick got the batter to ground out to end the game sending the Hens 1-1 into the rubber game of the series.
“Our pitching was really the difference today,” Sherman said. “The efforts on the mound combined with some clutch hitting earned us the victory. Marinaccio was outstanding over five innings and FitzPatrick was just as good over his four.”
Sherman sent senior left-hander Kevin Milley out to the mound. Milley pitched 2.1 innings, allowing three runs, two earned and four walks with only one strikeout in his short outing. In the other dugout, UNCW pitcher Zion Sharpe threw six innings of shutout baseball, allowing only three hits and striking out three batters. Catcher Brian Mayer led the Blue Hens with two out of the team’s five hits.
Despite Sunday’s loss, the Hens still lead the CAA in both batting average (.316) and ERA (.463).
The Hens next play on Tuesday at Saint Joseph’s in Philadelphia. Sherman looks for his 500th career win at Delaware.