Offense goes cold in final two games of series
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 18:03
After a 20-run offensive outburst in the opening game on Friday against William & Mary, the Hens were shut down in the final two games of the series at Bob Hannah Stadium, losing 9-0 and 4-2.
The Hens tallied 22 hits during the first game, but could only muster five hits on Saturday and six hits on Sunday. Head coach Jim Sherman said the team was “bummed out,” and he has not seen anything like this in his 25 years of coaching.
“I don’t think there are too many times you start the first game of a series and put a 20 spot up, and you believe in your heart that you’re going to end up losing the series,” Sherman said.
Delaware registered its first hit in the third inning when sophomore center fielder Joe Giacchino lined one up the middle, but the Hens could not take advantage after the Tribe’s starting pitcher, Jason Inghram, knocked down a hard-hit ball by junior left fielder Cameron Travalini.
The game opened up during the fourth inning after William & Mary’s designated hitter Jackson Shaver drilled senior starting pitcher Matt Soren’s pitch off the wall. Shaver scampered into third after an errant throw to lead off the inning. After a walk, wild pitch, hit batter and two hits, the Tribe was able to take the 2-0 lead.
The Hens answered right away as senior designated hitter Jimmy Yezzo stepped to the plate. He swung at the first pitch, a hanging breaking ball, and took it way beyond the right field fence.
“Just went up looking for a pitch in that zone—got it—did what I was supposed to with it,” Yezzo said. “I’m not supposed to miss that pitch.”
Redshirt senior right fielder Nick Ferdinand followed Yezzo’s lead with a single up the middle. However, senior second baseman D.J. Long popped out, redshirt sophomore third baseman Zach Lopes grounded out, junior first baseman Jake Clark walked and sophomore catcher Ty Warrington went down swinging to end the inning with two runners left on base.
Soren settled down and did not get into any trouble until the seventh inning, when it appeared he started getting tired. Junior right-handed pitcher Dan Gatto relieved the Hens starter after Soren allowed a base hit. Gatto allowed two hits and a run to score, but gave up another one with two outs after shortstop Brock Niggebrugge had a ball bounce over his glove to make the score 4-1.
“If you said today Soren is only going to give up three, or you guys are only to give up four, I’d say I’d take it,” Sherman said. “We got a win, we got good enough bats, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Delaware tried to rally one final time in the ninth inning when Ferdinand led the Hens with another single. After two outs and a walk, Warrington singled up the middle to score Ferdinand. With the score 4-2, Sherman pinch-hit junior infielder EJ Stoltzfus to attempt a game-tying hit, but he flied out to left field to seal the game for the Tribe.
“We just came out flat, couldn’t pick it up,” Yezzo said. “Showed a little bit of life at the end, but wasn’t enough to make a comeback.”
Yezzo said the pitchers came out throwing strikes and made defensive plays when the opportunity presented itself.
Sherman said the coaches will continue to coach and the players will continue to play. The Hens have a long break from CAA play to think about their effort as they pick up conference action March 29. Now, 10-8 (3-3) Delaware faces off against Wilmington University at home today at 3 p.m.
“I think leadership from the older guys is going to right the ship and get us a little more consistent with every thing we do, whether it is hitting, base running or pitching,” Sherman said. “You always lean on your upperclassmen to be better and play better.”