BALTIMORE (AP)- The University of Delaware baseball team will look for its 13th straight victory when the Blue Hens travel south to tackle the UMBC Retrievers in a non-conference, mid-week contest, Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at UMBC's Baseball Factory Field.
Delaware (22-8, 9-3 Colonial Athletic Association) owns a 3-3 road record this season while UMBC (8-14, 4-8 America East) has a 4-3 home mark. UD has won four-straight games over UMBC and has a 36-13 record since the series started in 1981.
The Blue Hens will turn to right-handed pitcher Dan Gatto (1-1, 4.39 earned-run average) while the Retrievers hand the ball to righty Riley Stephenson (1-4, 7.56 ERA).
This will be the second meeting between Delaware and UMBC this season as the Hens seized a 12-4 win over the Retrievers on Mar. 5 in Newark. Jimmy Yezzo hit two home runs with four RBI while Jake Clark added his first home run of the season in the win.
Joe Giacchino and Zach Lopes each tallied three hits in the game. Connor Hibbs earned his first win as a Blue Hen after the right-hander held UMBC to two runs (one earned) on five hits, one walk and three strikeouts in 5.1 innings pitched.
Delaware sits second in the CAA with a 9-3 conference record while UMBC's has a 4-8 conference record that puts the Retrievers tied for fifth in the America East.
UD's offense ranks second in the CAA with a .335 team-batting average. Yezzo owns the longest on-base streak in the country at 42 games and has the third-highest batting average in the conference (.444). He also leads the CAA in doubles (18), RBI 42) and total bases (98) while sitting second in the conference in hits (55), home runs (7) and slugging percentage (.790).
Nick Ferdinand is second in the CAA in RBI (34), third in slugging percentage (.679), fourth in home runs (6), and fifth in total bases (76) and doubles (11). DJ Long is in the top five of the conference in home runs (5) and doubles (11).
Brock Niggebrugge owns an 11-game hitting streak and is hitting .512 during that span while Joe Giacchino has an eight-game hitting streak.
In 32 games, the Hens pitching staff is fourth in the CAA with a 4.23 ERA. Reigning CAA Co-Pitcher of the Week, Matt Soren, is second in the conference opponent batting average (.201) and third in ERA (1.69). Starter Chad Kuhl is second in the CAA in wins (5) and third in innings pitched (57.2).
UMBC is last in the America East with a .205 (142-for-694) team batting average. Kevin LaChance leads the team with a .316 batting average and paces the Retrievers with 25 hits. Rob McCabe leads the team with 11 runs scored and second on the squad with 17 hits.
The Retrievers pitching staff is fourth in the America East conference with a 4.64 ERA in 22 games. Reliever Kevin Ladner owns a 1-0 record and leads the team with a 1.93 ERA in 11 appearances. Relievers John Cohn and Mike Gomez have combined for a 2.99 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 22 appearances.
Delaware will return to CAA competition on Friday, April 12, at 6 p.m. when the Blue Hens travel to Wilmington, N.C. to battle the UNCW Seahawks in a three-game weekend series at Brooks Field.