Friday, April 28 – Saturday, April 29, William and Mary (27-18, 11-10 CAA) baseball hosted Delaware (21-23, 10-11 CAA) for a three game series at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Tribe bounced back from Friday night’s 6-3 loss with two comeback wins in a double header on Saturday, taking the series.
In Friday night’s game, Delaware started the scoring in the top of the second inning against freshman Tribe pitcher Owen Pierce. Senior infielder JJ Freeman led off the Blue Hens with a double to left field, then junior infielder Jake Dunion scored him with an RBI single up the middle. Junior catcher Tyler Leach singled to score Dunion, and sophomore outfielder Andrew Amato singled to drive in Delaware’s third run of the inning. Delaware then extended their lead in the top of the fourth inning with a two-run homerun from Amato.
William and Mary’s offense gained some momentum in the bottom of the fifth, with a double from junior catcher Nate Goranson to score senior infielder Ben Williamson. A single from freshman outfielder Tank Yaghoubi scored the Tribe’s second run and the inning concluded with Delaware still on top 5-2.
In the top of the seventh, an RBI single from Delaware’s junior infielder Joey Loynd gave the Blue Hens its sixth run. The Tribe scored one more run in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a base hit from freshman infielder Jerry Barnes III, but William and Mary was not able to bridge the deficit, and the game concluded with Delaware on top 6-3. Junior pitcher Bryce Greenly received credit with the win and Pierce recorded the loss.
A tough start to the series for the Tribe made the next two games a must-win. The teams met again on Saturday for a double header.
In the first inning, a sacrifice fly from sophomore outfielder Lucas Carmichael scored Williamson and gave the Tribe an early 1-0 lead. Both offenses went quiet until the top of the fourth inning when Delaware strung together two base hits and a double from Amato to score Freeman and tie the game. Delaware took control in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Loynd and an RBI ground out from Dunion. The Tribe entered the bottom of the fifth down 3-1, but thanks to a massive three-run homerun from Goranson, William and Mary regained the lead.
Sophomore pitcher Carter Lovasz came to the mound in the top of the seventh. Delaware started off hot, with a double from senior infielder Dan Covino and then a two-run homerun from Loynd to put the visiting team on top 5-4. Lovasz minimized the damage and carried the Tribe out of the inning. The Tribe offense responded again in the bottom half of the inning, as it loaded the bases and scored the game-tying run after a Goranson drew a walk. A sacrifice fly from senior catcher Max Winters scored one more for the Tribe.
Lovasz found his groove on the mound, making quick work in the top of the eighth, and bringing up the Tribe lineup at the plate. Williamson hit an RBI single, and an intentional walk of Yaghoubi loaded the bases. Goranson was hit by a pitch to bring in one more run and the Tribe ended the inning on top 8-5.
Lovasz shut down Delaware’s last scoring chance with a three up, three down inning that closed with an emphatic three pitch strikeout to give the Tribe the win and tie the series 1-1.
Graduate student pitcher Zach Tsakounis started on the mound for the Tribe in game two of the day, and Delaware jumped on the board right away. Freeman hit an RBI single and Dunion reached on an error that scored Loynd. Junior catcher Josearmando Diaz singled to second base to score Delaware’s third and final run of the inning. In the bottom of the second inning, William and Mary started its scoring thanks to a two-RBI single from freshman infielder Corey Adams. Delaware scored one more run in the top of the third, as Diaz tripled to left field to bring the score to 4-2. Sophomore pitcher Nate Knowles came in to pitch for the Tribe in the top of the fourth. He allowed three hits and two runs, and the Blue Hens extended its lead to four.
Goranson remained hot for the Tribe, homering in the bottom of the fifth to score two and bridge the Tribe deficit back to two. In the sixth inning, both teams tacked on one more run, entering the final three innings with the Blue Hens on top 7-5. Sophomore pitcher Nick Lottchea took over on the mound in the seventh. The score held constant through the top of the ninth, putting pressure on the Tribe offense to come alive in their final chance of the game.
Williamson led the team in the bottom of the ninth with a double. Goranson came up clutch again with an RBI double to put the Tribe within striking distance. Goranson then scored on a passed ball, tying the game at 7-7. Delaware brought junior pitcher Wyatt Nelson to the mound and senior outfielder Joe Delossantos intentionally walked to load the bases. Adams appeared at the plate with two outs, bases loaded, the score tied 7-7 and worked a 3-2 count.
“Going into the last at bat, I felt confident,” Adams said. “Being in that situation before helped, and I knew my teammates had confidence in me to come through and get us a win.”
Adams has historically performed well under pressure, and he again came through, hitting a clutch single to score the winning run and give the Tribe another walk off win. William and Mary had four hits to produce three runs in the bottom of the ninth to claim a crucial comeback CAA win 8-7.
“It’s always great to be able to get a win,” Adams said. “Especially right now, every one counts. Baseball is a big momentum game, so if we can carry that feeling into next week, it should help a lot. As good as it feels to win like that, we know how quickly things can flip, so we are just staying focused and getting rested for our next game against VMI.”
William and Mary will travel to Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday, May 2 at 6 pm at Alumni Memorial Field in Lexington, Virginia.