Sunday shutout propels Tribe to series win in Delaware

RYAN GOODMAN // THE FLAT HAT Fifth-year outfielder Joe Delossantos drilled his seventh home run on Saturday and drove in five runs during the Tribe's trip to Newark.

Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31, William and Mary baseball (20-8, 4-2 CAA) took down Coastal Athletic Association opponent Delaware on the road, winning two of its three games at Bob Hannah Stadium in Newark, Del. 

Entering the weekend series with a scorching 8-1 record in its last nine games, the Tribe looked to continue its hot interconference start following its series win against Stony Brook (12-15, 1-5 CAA) last weekend.

On Friday, the Green and Gold wasted no time getting runs on the board. After senior catcher Nate Goranson walked with two outs, freshman first baseman Anthony Greco blasted a 0-2 fastball into left field for a double, driving Goranson in and giving the Tribe an early 1-0 lead.

Greco, who has started 20 of the Tribe’s 28 games, finished Friday’s matchup with two runs batted in.

Early on, graduate student pitcher Alex Markus kept the Blue Hens at bay. Through two innings, Markus let up no runs on one hit, striking out one. 

In the top of the third, graduate student outfielder Ben Parker added to the Tribe’s lead with his ninth home run of the season. After another Greco double, sophomore catcher Jerry Barnes III blasted his third home run of the season, giving the Tribe a 4-0 lead. 

In the bottom of the third, however, Delaware finally got on the board. After back-to-back Blue Hens singles, junior outfielder Andrew Amato drove in Delaware’s first run of the game, cutting the deficit to three. Markus limited the damage to just one run, retiring the next batter he faced and finishing Friday’s outing with three hits, one run and one strikeout.

In the fourth, the Green and Gold offense picked up right where it left off in the third. After a walk, a single and another walk, a wild Delaware pitch allowed freshman infielder Josiah Seguin to score, extending the Tribe’s lead back to four. Later that same at-bat, Goranson flew out to left field, driving in junior outfielder Lucas Carmichael and giving the Tribe a 6-1 lead. Right after, Greco knocked in his second run of the game with another sacrifice fly, and the Tribe ended the fourth with an impressive 7-1 lead. 

After a shutdown fourth inning from junior pitcher Travis Garnett, William and Mary tacked on another run in the fifth, this time courtesy of a homer from freshman infielder Kevin Francella. 

In the bottom half of the fifth, the Blue Hens managed to score two runs of its own, thanks to three untimely Tribe walks and a double.

While leading 8-4, the Green and Gold continued pushing on in the sixth. With two outs, Parker stole home, tacking on another run to the visiting Tribe’s lead. 

For the next three innings, William and Mary’s bullpen completely shut down the Blue Hens. Thanks to 1.2 innings and 3.0 innings of shutout pitching from sophomores Luke Calveric and Owen Pierce, respectively, the Green and Gold secured the first game of the series, winning 9-4. Markus was credited with the win, while Pierce recorded his fifth save of the season. 

Saturday, the Tribe bats came out swinging early yet again. After Parker walked and stole second, Barnes singled to right, driving Parker in and giving the Green and Gold an early 1-0 lead. 

This time, however, the Blue Hens bats fired back just as quickly. After an early walk, a passed ball and a wild pitch, senior infielder Joey Loynd grounded out to short, tying the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the second, Delaware tacked on three more runs, this time courtesy of a two-run single from junior infielder Brett Lesher and a ground out from senior designated hitter Bryce Greenly.

Both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth innings, but in the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Hens tacked on its fifth run of the game after an RBI double from junior infielder Chris Dengler. 

Despite being down 5-1, the Green and Gold continued fighting into the last outs of the game. In the top of the ninth, Parker got the Tribe offense rolling with a single to right field. In the next at-bat, fifth-year outfielder Joe Delossantos drilled his seventh homer of the season, cutting Delaware’s lead to just two. After back-to-back strikeouts and a Goranson pinch-hit ground out, the Blue Hens closed out the game with a 5-3 win in game two of the series. Though graduate student pitcher Zack Potts was credited with his first loss of the season, he still carries an impressive 4-1 record on the year.

Sunday’s rubber match gave the Tribe the opportunity to take its second straight Coastal Athletic Association series of the season, and the Green and Gold did not disappoint.

In a dominant showing, William and Mary shut out the Blue Hens in the series finale, winning 6-0 on the back of a lights-out performance from junior pitcher Nate Knowles. In his 10th appearance of the season, Knowles went four scoreless innings, letting up just one hit while striking out five Delaware batters.

After Knowles, sophomore pitcher Mark Hindy and junior pitcher Carter Lovasz kept the Blue Hens at bay, allowing no runs and just three hits over five innings of combined work. 

On the offensive side, William and Mary dominated from the get-go. In the first, Greco drove in his third run of the series after singling to left center. In the second, Delossantos drove in three more, putting the Tribe up 4-0 with six innings left to play. In the fifth, graduate student outfielder Henry Jackson hit a two-run homer — his first playing for the Green and Gold — giving the Tribe the 6-0 lead it carried until the end. 

After beating Delaware on the road, William and Mary sits tied for third in CAA standings behind UNC Wilmington (17-11, 6-0 CAA) and Northeastern (21-6, 5-1 CAA). Tuesday, April 2, the Tribe will host VCU (18-10, 2-1 A-10) at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg, Va. 


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