Baseball Drops 6-3 Mid-Week Decision to Delaware

Freshman Kevin Lachance
Freshman Kevin Lachance

BALTIMORE – Freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) hit his first career homerun and junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) and sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) each went 2-for-4 but it was not enough as Delaware rallied past UMBC for a 6-3 win, Wednesday evening at Alumni Field in non-conference action.

Jimmy Yezzo, Nick Ferdinand, and Brock Niggbrugge each collected three hits for the hosts who won for the 23rd straight time this season.

Delaware starter Dan Gatto (2-1) went five innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits to pick up the win for the Blue Hens.  He struck out four while handing out no walks.

Freshman Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) pitched a career-high 6.1 innings but took the loss, surrendering three earned on ten hits.  Stephenson (1-5) also struck out four batters while walking just one.

Despite getting outhit 13-7, UMBC (8-15) struck first by picking up a run in the bottom of the second. Barnes started the inning with a double to deep left-center, and following a fly out to left, the sophomore infielder came around to score as Coluccio went the other way, grounding a single through the right side.

The lead did not last long, however, as Delaware (23-8) pegged back in the top of the third with a single run.  Cameron Travalini earned a one-out walk, and moved to second on a single by Yezzo. Ferdinand then stepped up and leveled the score with a single to left.  That is all the Blue Hens would get as Stephenson induced a fly out and then struck out D.J. Long to end the threat.

UMBC went three up, three down in the bottom half and Delaware took advantage, plating two runs in the top of the fourth to stake to a 3-1 lead, one the Blue Hens would not surrender.

Lachance brought the Retrievers right back into the game as he launched the first pitch of the bottom of the inning over the left field fence for his first career homerun, to cut the score to 3-2. UMBC could not add to it, though, with the next three batters going down in order.

Two innings later, the hosts looked poised to tie the game and take the lead in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases on a two-out rally.  Lachance started the charge by drawing a walk and Barnes pushed him to third by roping a double down the left field line.  Freshman Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) watched four straight go by to load the sacks.  The very next pitch, the first to Coluccio, was in the dirt and got by Blue Hen catcher Andrew Burgess, but he was able to recover and flip the ball to reliever Connor Hibbs who tagged the charging Lachance for the final out.

Delaware added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to push the lead to 4-2, and it proved necessary as the Retrievers returned the favor with a run in the bottom half.  Coluccio was once again involved as the designated hitter laced a single to left to lead off.  After he advanced to second on a passed ball, senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) drew a walk to put two runners on.  Both runners advanced on a ground out and following a walk to freshman Jesse Smith (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) and a foul out, sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) blooped a single over the infield to bring in Coluccio and cut the lead to 4-3.

After a scoreless eighth, Delaware once again added insurance runs, bringing two across in the top of the ninth for a 6-3 lead. 

Gilchrist started the UMBC half of the ninth with a base hit, and junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) was hit by a pitch to put two on, but a deep fly to right ended the game.

UMBC continues its home stand with a three-game America East series against Maine this weekend.  The Retrievers and Black Bears will play two on Saturday and a single game on Sunday. Saturday's twin bill is scheduled to begin at 12:00 p.m. at Alumni Field.

DAWG BITES

-          Delaware also won the first meeting between the clubs this year, 12-4 in Newark, Del., and now leads the all-time series 39-13.  The Blue Hens have won five straight in the series.

-          UMBC is 0-3 against opponents from the CAA this season (0-2 vs. Delaware; 0-1 vs. Towson)

-          The loss breaks the Retrievers' two-game win streak vs. non-conference opponents.

-          Yezzo was 3-for-5 to extend his NCAA-best streak to 43 straight games reaching base.

-          Lachance's homerun pushed his current hitting streak to ten consecutive games, the longest on the team this season.

-          The Retrievers have been out-hit in 20 of 23 games this season.  They are 5-15 in such games.

-          Each of UMBC's homeruns this year has been a solo shot.