TOWSON, Md. – Sophomore centerfielder Joe Giacchino doubled in the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning as the University of Delaware (7-4, 0-1) came from behind to edge the Tigers (6-5, 0-1) by a 3-2 margin in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams at John B. Schuerholz Park on Friday afternoon.
With the score tied at 2-2 in the tenth inning, junior Jake Clark led off with a pinch hit double down the left field line. A bunt single by sophomore catcher Ty Warrington put runners at first and third with no outs. After senior lefthander Mike Ryan struck out E.J. Stolzfuss for the first out, Giacchino doubled to left, driving in Clark with the go-ahead run. At the same time, leftfielder Kurt Wertz threw Warrington out trying to reach third base. Ryan retired junior Cameron Travalini on a ground ball to second base for the final out.
Senior righthander Steve Richter retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the tenth to secure the victory. Richter pitched three scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win. He retired all nine hitters he faced and struck out four.
After holding Delaware to one run on three hits through eight innings, senior righthander Mike Volpe of Towson took the mound in the ninth inning seeking a complete game victory. With one out, Travalani singled to rightfield. Then, junior Jimmy Yezzo doubled to deep right centerfield, driving in Travalani with the tying run. After senior rightfielder Nick Ferdinand was walked intentionally, Ryan came in to relieve Volpe.
He retired the next two hitters to send the game into the bottom of the ninth inning tied at 2-2.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but couldn’t score any more runs against junior righthander Chad Kuhl and Richter.
The Tigers took a 2-0 lead when they rallied with two outs. Junior designated hitter Dominic Fratantuono drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Moments later, senior catcher Andrew Parker blasted a two-run homer over the left centerfield fence.
In the second inning, the Blue Hens rallied to cut their deficit in half. Ferdinand and senior second baseman D.J. Long led off with back-to-back singles. After a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Zach Lopes, Ferdinand scored on a ground ball by sophomore designated hitter Tyler Powell. But, Volpe escaped the jam by striking out Warrington.
The Tigers had a great chance to add to their lead in the third inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Kuhl struck out Parker and retired Wertz on a ground ball to second base.
After Long’s single in the second inning, Volpe held Delaware without a hit until the seventh inning. With one out, Ferdinand drew a walk. He advanced to second base on a ground ball by Long. With two outs, Lopes singled to rightfield. Rightfielder Peter Bowles charged the ball and threw to the plate where Parker tagged Ferdinand trying to score.
Volpe allowed two runs on five hits in 8.1 innings of work. He walked three and struck out six. Kuhl pitched seven innings and gave up two runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
Delaware outhit Towson by an 8-5 margin as eight different Blue Hens had base hits.
Junior centerfielder Brandon Gonnella led the Tigers with three hits.
The Tigers, who have now lost three in a row, will host Delaware in the second game of the three-game weekend series on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at Schuerholz Park.