Dover, Del. (Apr. 8, 2014) --- Aaron Nardone smacked a bases loaded single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Delaware State a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Towson at Soldier Field today. The walk-off hit completed a comeback that began after the Hornets trailed 3-0 entering the bottom of the eighth inning.
The game was scoreless until Towson broke through with a run in the top of the seventh. The Tigers scored two in the eighth inning on a two-run homer by Kurt Wertz to open up a 3-0 lead.
Delaware State responded with three runs in the last of the eighth to tie the game. Charles Dailey doubled to right center to lead off the eighth for the Hornets. Cameron Onderko followed with a single to right to score Dailey, cutting the Tigers’ lead to 3-1. Two batters later, Nardone singled to put runners at second and first. The next batter, Mike Alexander, singled to left center to load the bases with one out. Designated hitter Ron Farley followed with a single up the middle to score Onderko from third and Nardone from second to tie the game at 3-3. The Hornets had two men on base when the inning ended.
DSU reliever Eric Sharff allowed a two-out double in the Towson ninth, but kept the Tigers off the board to give the Hornets a chance to win the game in their last at bat.
In the Delaware State ninth, Dailey again started the rally, this time with a one-out double off the fence in center field. After Onderko was intentionally walked to put men on second and first, Cecil hit a bloop single to center to load the bases. Nardone followed with a line drive hit to the gap in left center to bring home Dailey with the winning run.
It was Nardone’s second walk-off RBI of the season. He drove in Dailey with a 10th inning sacrifice fly in the Hornets 1-0 win over Bucknell on Feb. 22.
Dailey was three-for-four with two doubles, while Nardone had three hits in five at bats to lead the Hornets’ 13-hit attack. Onderko (2-for-4) and Alexander (2-for-4) had two hits each.
Sharff (3-2) allowed two hits and a run in two innings of relief to earn the win for the Hornets.
Hornet freshman starter Harry Thomas kept Towson off the board until allowing a run in the seventh. He gave up only four hits and run, while striking out a career-high six batters in 6.2 innings
Thomas has allowed just 13 hits and three earned runs, while striking out 17 in 20 innings of work this season. He has an earned run average of 1.35 this year.
Towson’s Dominic Fratantuono doubled in the first run of the game in the seventh inning. Reliever Brandon Gonnella, who started the game in center field, was the losing pitcher for the Tigers. He allowed eight hits and all four DSU runs in 2.1 innings.
Delaware State won for the third time in four games to improve to 15-10 this season. Towson fell to 14-13.
The Hornets return to action on Wednesday evening (Apr. 9) at Maryland-Baltimore County. Game time is 6 p.m. in Baltimore, Md.
DSU will go for a two-game sweep against the Retrievers this season. The Hornets defeated UMBC 16-9 on Apr. 1 at Soldier Field.