Teaneck, N.J. (Apr. 18, 2017) --- Delaware State scored seven unanswered runs in the game and held off a ninth inning rally to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 8-7 at Naimoli Family Field this afternoon. The Hornets won their third straight game to improve to 12-19 this season.
Down 2-1, DSU scored four runs in the sixth inning and three in the eighth to open up an 8-3 lead. The Knights scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth and had the potential tying run at third base before the Hornets escaped with the win.
Fairleigh Dickinson opened the scoring with two runs in the third inning.
The Hornets scored a run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Ciaran Devenney.
FDU led 3-1 when Delaware State put four runs on the board in the sixth to take the lead. Todd Henry singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a walk to Jaylen Zielecki. Austin Bentley followed with a double to left center, scoring Henry and Zielecki to tie the game at 3-3 lead. Bentley was still at second with two outs when Evan Regez reached base on an infield single, sending Bentley to third. The next batter, Kwestin Smith, drew a walk to load the bases. Delaware State pulled ahead 4-3 when Devenney was hit by a pitch to score Bentley from third. Jared Gillis then drew a bases loaded walk, allowing Regez to cross the plate and give the Hornets a two-run lead.
DSU scored three times in the eighth to open up some breathing room. The first three batters walked in the inning to load the bases. Gillis then singled to right to give the Hornets a 6-3 lead. Henry knocked in the second run of the inning on a sac fly and the third run crossed the plate on a wild pitch to put the Hornets ahead by five.
Delaware State loaded the bases in the ninth, but failed to add to its lead.
Fairleigh Dickinson started its four-run ninth rally with one out and bases empty. The Knights scored their first run of the inning on a Delaware State error. DSU still led 8-4 with two outs when Hunter Reeser doubled in two runs and a third run scored on an error to cut the Hornets’ lead to one. Reeser advanced to third on the play, representing the potential tying run. Hornet closer Darrien Ragins then entered the game. Ragins struck out Jason Fatzinger swinging to end the game and record his sixth save.
Devenney, Gillis and Bentley drove in two runs each, while Regez was 2-for-4 to raise his team-leading average to .376 this season.
Hunter McVey (1-1) threw four innings of relief to earn the win for the Hornets.
Delaware State returns to MEAC North action with a three-game series at Maryland-Eastern Shore this weekend. The Hornets and Hawks will open the series with a doubleheader on Saturday (12:00 pm) and wrap it up with a single game on Sunday (12:00 p.m.).