HARRISONBURG, Va. (May 23, 2012) - Pinch-runner Dan Gatto
scored all the way from first on a throwing error after a sacrifice bunt to give
third-seeded Delaware an 8-7 come-from-behind victory in 12 innings over #6
Towson in the second game of the Virginia 529 CAA Baseball Championship on
Wednesday night at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Blue Hens (28-25) advance to face #2 Hofstra at 5 p.m. on
Thursday, while the Tigers (26-30) will take on #4 George Mason in an
elimination game at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning.
Junior closer Devon Pearson (5-1) picked up the victory for
UD after allowing just one hit and no runs over the final 5.1 innings and
striking out eight. The Hens also got 3.2 shutout innings from reliever Eric
Buckland as they were able to rally from a 7-1 deficit. Senior closer Tyler
Austin (2-5) was the hard-luck loser for Towson after giving just one earned
run over 4.0 innings and striking out nine.
First baseman Jimmy Yezzo finished 3-for-5 with two RBI's
for Delaware, while second baseman DJ Long was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and
a pair of RBI's. Towson third baseman Zach Fisher went 3-for-6 with a run
scored and designated hitter Brandon Gonnella was 2-for-4 and scored twice.
With the score tied at 7-7 in the 12th, Yezzo led
off with a single and Gatto replaced him as a pinch runner. Pitcher Eric Young
came on to pinch hit and dropped a sacrifice bunt down the third base line.
Tigers' catcher Andrew Parker tried to make a play at first, but his throw
sailed down the right-field line and allowed Gatto to score the winning run.
Delaware fell behind 7-1 before cutting the deficit in half
in the bottom of the fourth. Joe Giacchino had a one-out single, advanced on a
wild pitch and scored on Ty Warrington's base hit. Long followed with an RBI
double to left-center and he scored on Yezzo's double to right to make it 7-4.
The Blue Hens added another run in the seventh. Ferdinand
and Yezzo had consecutive one-out singles and an infield single by Tyler Powell
brought home Ferdinand to close the margin to 7-5.
Delaware drew even in the eighth. Giacchino walked and Brock
Niggebrugge singled to open the frame and both runners advanced on Warrington's
sacrifice bunt. A passed ball allowed Giacchino to score and a sacrifice fly by
Long brought Niggebrugge home with the tying run.
Both teams put a run on the board in the first. Towson's
Brandon Gonnella singled to open the game and came around to score on a ground
out by Kurt Wertz. Delaware responded with a leadoff double from Long, who
eventually scored on Yezzo's sacrifice fly.
Towson regained the lead with a pair of runs in the third. Fisher
had a one-out single to left and Wertz walked. Brendan Butler and Dominic
Fratantuono followed with back-to-back RBI singles that gave the Tigers a 3-1
The Tigers tacked on four more runs in the top of the fourth
with four hits and the aid of a Blue Hens' error. Singles by Pat Fitzgerald and
Ben Winter put runners on the corners and Hunter Bennett's well-placed bunt plated
Fitzgerald. A bunt single by Gonnella loaded the bases for Fisher, whose single
to right skipped past the fielder and allowed all three runners to score for a
7-1 Towson lead.