NEWARK, DELAWARE (Press Release) -- Delaware compiled 31 hits and posted a five-run inning in each game to claim a pair of wins, 11-5 and 13-9, over James Madison to open the final Colonial Athletic Association baseball series of the season on Thursday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.
UD improved to 24-24 overall and 10-9 in the CAA while JMU fell to 16-34 overall and 7-12 in the league. The series was pushed ahead to a doubleheader due to forecasted rain Thursday evening into Friday. The final game is still scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday.
The Dukes dropped into seventh place in the league standings with the losses. They will need to win Saturday’s game in order to climb back into the final spot for the six-team CAA tournament, which begins on Wed., May 21 at UNCW.
Game 1 – Delaware 11, James Madison 5
Delaware methodically built a 6-1 lead through the first six innings then put up five runs in the seventh to grab a commanding lead at 11-1. The Dukes added two runs apiece in the eighth and ninth innings before falling 11-5.
Starter Dan Gatto improved to 4-6 for UD after limiting the Dukes to one run on eight hits with six strikeouts in seven innings. Starter Aaron Hoover (Centreville, Va./Westfield) took the loss with six runs allowed on 12 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Redshirt senior first baseman Matt Tenaglia (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) led a 12-hit effort for JMU by going 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs. Senior third baseman Ty McFarland (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby), junior center fielder Kevin Husum (Panama City, Fla./Bay), redshirt sophomore shortstop Kyle Weston (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood) and freshman left fielder Josh Wyatt (Eden, Md./James M. Bennett) each had a pair of hits for the Dukes. Weston drove in two runs while Wyatt hit his second home run in four games.
Third baseman Ryan Hartley and left fielder Cameron Travalini each drove in three runs with home runs for Delaware. Shortstop E.J. Stoltzfus was 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Center fielder Joe Giacchino and right fielder Norm Donkin also had two-hit games.
Game 2 – Delaware 13, James Madison 9
After the Blue Hens claimed an 11-1 lead through seven innings in the first game, Delaware grabbed a 13-1 lead through four innings of the second contest. The Dukes roared back with a six-run sixth and added two runs in the ninth but could not complete the comeback, falling 13-9.
Connor Hibbs allowed five of the nine JMU runs but earned the win with two innings of work in the fourth and fifth. Starter Chad Martin limited the Dukes to one run in three innings on two hits.
Junior right-hander Chris Huffman (Fort Defiance, Va./Fort Defiance) took the loss. He allowed 11 runs, 10 earned, on 11 hits in two innings of work, which included being struck on the throwing arm by a hit. Freshman Ford Bradshaw (South Boston, Va./Halifax) had the best appearance of his young career with five shutout innings allowing just three hits. He had not previously gone more than two innings in 11 appearances.
Tenaglia added two more hits to his effort for the day with two runs scored. Wyatt tripled and drove in a pair of runs. Seven different players accounted for JMU’s eight RBIs.
Delaware did most of its damage from the top of the order with its first five batters accounting for 10 hits and 11 RBIs. Giacchino, second baseman Zach Lopes and designated hitter Alex Mottle each had three RBIs.Giacchino had three hits while Stoltzfus, Donkin, Lopes, first baseman Jake Clark and Travalini each had two.