Charleston, S.C. (Feb. 17, 2017) --- Delaware State scored six runs in the first three innings, while pitchers Lane DeLeon and Travis Dill combined for nine strikeouts without allowing an earned run in a 9-2 victory Charleston Southern in the 2017 opener for both teams at CSU Ballpark today. The win was the Hornets’ first in a season opener since 2009.
Newcomer Ciaran Devenney was two-for-four with two RBI in his collegiate debut, Austin Bentley had three hits and Todd Henry drove in two runs to highlight DSU’s nine-hit attack.
Darnel Maisonet got the Hornets off to a quick start with a two-out solo homer in the top of the first inning. Maisonet had one home run in 156 at bats as a freshman in 2016.
Delaware State tacked on two runs in the second to open up a 3-0 lead. Jaylen Zielecki drove in the first run of the inning on a two-out double and Tommy Jordan doubled in Zielecki in his first collegiate at bat for the second run of the frame.
Charleston Southern scored two unearned runs off DeLeon in the bottom of the second inning to cut the Hornets’ lead to 3-2.
DSU answered with three runs in the top of the third for a little more breathing room. After a one-out double by Bentley put runners on second and third, Devenney drove in his first career run on a ground out to second. Two batters later, Henry doubled to right center, driving in two to give the Hornets a 6-2 lead.
After DeLeon shut down the Buccaneers in the third and fourth innings, the Hornets added two more runs in the fifth. Maisonet singled to lead off the inning and later scored on a single by Devenney. DSU opened up an 8-2 lead when the second run of the inning crossed the plate on a Charleston Southern error.
Delaware State closed out the scoring with a run in the ninth. Pinch hitter Devin Beverly’s two-out single drove in Masionet, who scored four times in the game.
DeLeon allowed five hits and two unearned runs, while striking out five and walking three in 5.2 innings to earn the win. Dill relieved DeLeon in the bottom of the sixth, getting the final out of the inning with the bases loaded. He also pitched the final three innings, striking out four, to earn the save.
The Hornets will look for two wins in a row to start the season when the teams play a single game on Saturday. Sophomore right-hander Sean McGrath is DSU’s scheduled starter in the contest.