UD Rallies Into Finals
HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 25, 2012) - Jimmy Yezzo had three hits, including two during a 10-run Delaware seventh inning, and drove in four runs to lead the Blue Hens to a 12-9 victory over Hofstra Friday night in the losers' bracket final of the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
The victory sends third-seeded Delaware to Saturday's 1 p.m. championship round against top-seeded and regular-season league winner UNCW. Undefeated UNCW can claim the tournament title and the conference's automatic NCAA Baseball Championship bid with a victory in the 1 p.m. game. Should Delaware win the 1 p.m. contest, the teams will play a second game for the tournament title.
Second-seeded Hofstra finished the season with a 34-22 record after scoring twice without a hit to get to within 12-9 and having the potential tying run at the plate during the bottom of the ninth.
Delaware's appearance in the CAA championship round will be its third in 11 seasons in the league while UNCW will be making its third championship-round appearance in four seasons and its fifth overall. Delaware was second in the 2004 and 2007 tournaments, and UNCW was second in 2009 and 2010 and the tournament winner in 2004 and 2006. UNCW beat Delaware 3-2 in Friday's noon game to advance to this season's championship round.
Delaware overcame a 7-2 deficit with its decisive rally in the seventh inning during which it sent 15 batters to the plate, had nine hits and scored seven times after two were out. The Blue Hens had only one extra-base hit during the frame but took advantage of a leadoff walk, three infield hits and a bases-loaded hit batsman.
Yezzo's RBI double started Delaware's seventh-inning scoring barrage, and he plated the inning's sixth run - putting his team in front 8-7 - with a bases-loaded, infield single. The Blue Hens during the inning also got a pinch hit single and a two-run single from Joe Giacchino, a two-run single from Alex Maruri, and RBI singles from D.J. Long, Tyler Powell and pinch hitter E.J. Stoltzfus. Nick Ferdinand was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in another run.
Yezzo gave Delaware a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a home run to straightaway center field following Ferdinand's one-out single, and he also drew a walk in six trips to the plate. Powell had two singles and drew two walks, and Long singled twice and was hit by a pitch for Delaware, which had 14 hits overall.
Devon Pearson, the third of six Delaware pitchers in the game, was the beneficiary of his team's big seventh inning. He worked two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks, to gain the win and raise his record to 6-1. Jeff Murray was credited with his second save, issuing a walk but recording two outs after two other Blue Hens' hurlers walked the first three Hofstra batters during the bottom of the ninth. Murray walked the first man he faced but then got a RBI groundout fielder's choice and a strikeout to end the game.
Hofstra answered Yezzo's early two-run homer with four runs in the bottom of the first and added a run in the third and two in the sixth in building its 7-2 edge. Matt Ford's one-out double plated Dalton Rouleau, who had singled, for the Pride's first run, and Jared Hammer drove in Ford with a single. Hammer advanced to second on a groundout and to third on a passed ball and scored on the back end of a double steal. Kevin Flynn, who had walked and advanced to second on the double steal, scored the frame's fourth run on Matt Reistetter's double.
Hofstra increased its lead to 5-2 in the third inning on Austin Nyman's bases-loaded fielder's choice that scored Kevin Flynn, who was hit by a pitch. The Pride added two more runs in the sixth on Kenny Jackson's two-out single that scored Danny Poma, who was hit by a pitch, and Rouleau, who had singled.
Poma, Rouleau and Ford each had two hits for Hofstra.
Brett Schreiber, the second of five Hofstra pitchers, took the loss and fell to 3-2 for the season. He gave up three runs and three hits in one-third of an inning.