April 1, 2014

Late Rally Not Enough as UMBC Baseball Falls in Slug Fest at Delaware State, 16-9

DOVER, Del. – The UMBC baseball team rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh to cut a six-run deficit to one, 7-6, but Delaware State responded with nine runs in the home half to defeat the Retrievers, 16-9, Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at Soldier Field.

Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) went 3-for-4 at the plate for UMBC (5-15), which included an RBI single in the seventh-inning rally.  Three other Retrievers collected multiple hits on the day, including freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) and junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee), who each scored two runs. 

D.J. Miller paced the offense for Delaware State (12-8), going a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, driving in two runs and scoring two as well.

Sophomore Michael Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) took the loss (1-1) for the Retrievers after making his third start of the season.  In a scheduled staff outing, Gomez pitched two innings, surrendering two runs on two hits while also walking a batter.

Hornet starter Harry Thomas got through four innings, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out five Retriever batters.

After UMBC went down in order in the top of the first, Delaware State capitalized on a throwing error with two outs to score the first two runs of the game in the bottom half.

The Retrievers cut into the lead two innings later as junior Ryan Sliwak (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh/Nassau CC) lined a single to center to lead off the inning and then stole second.  He took third as Casali sliced a single down the right field line and then raced home on a wild pitch.

The hosts pushed right back as Aaron Nardone homered to right-center off of sophomore Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) to send the lead back to two, 3-1.  The Hornets added to the lead in the fourth, plating three runs for a 6-1 lead.  The advantage grew to 7-1 in the bottom of the fifth as Miller sent an RBI single up to middle.

Both teams went scoreless in the sixth before UMBC made a stirring rally in the top of the seventh.  Sophomore Nick Naumann (Essex, Md./John Carroll) started the comeback by drawing a lead-off walk and Casali followed by drawing a free pass.  Naumann advanced to third on a wild pitch and then Corbi reached on a fielding error to load the bases.  Sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) then gained first and recorded an RBI as the ball got by the Hornet shortstop allowing Naumann to score.

The inning continued as Dolshun laced a single to center, chasing Casali home.  Sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) was then hit-by-pitch, forcing Corbi in from third to cut the lead to 7-4.  A fielder's choice off the bat of junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) erased Espostio, but allowed Lachance to scamper home from third.  Sophomore Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) then yanked a single to right and Dolshun scored from third to cut the deficit to 7-6.  The Retrievers were looking for more but a 4-6-3 double play ended the rally.

Delaware State responded with nine runs in the bottom half to restore the lead to 16-6.  Retriever reliever Bobby Applegate (Somerdale, N.J./Sterling/Gloucester County College) got two outs, but then could not get out of the jam as the Hornets scored on a bases-loaded walk and then a hit-by-pitch.  DSU continued the rally against freshman Cory Callahan (Sykesville, Md./Good Counsel) scoring seven more times.

The Retrievers would not go away, however, and made another push in the top of the eighth.  Casali prompted the rally this time, drawing a one-out walk and then Corbi beat out a roller to put two runners on.  Lachance cashed in with a single through the left side and both runners came across to score.  After two walks and a fielder's choice, Colon drew a bases-loaded walk to force Lachance across.  A fly out halted the comeback, and UMBC got two runners on in the ninth before bowing out.

UMBC now returns home to host in-state rival UMES on Wednesday evening at Alumni Field.  First pitch between the Retrievers and Hawks is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          Today's game was the first between the two clubs since 2002.  They were supposed to meet last season, but the game was cancelled due to rain.

-          Delaware State has now won three straight in the series to cut UMBC's lead to 15-10.

-          Dolshun's single in the third inning extended his hit streak to nine and pushed his on-base streak to 14 consecutive games.

-          The teams combined for 25 runs and 26 hits.