Copyright 2016; Wilmington University. All rights reserved. Photo of Kyle Fries' double by Joseph Craig.
NEWARK, Del. - - With each pitcher making their first career start, it was the University of Delaware's Nick Spadafino that stole the show, tossing a complete game shutout as the Blue Hens blanked the Wilmington University baseball team, 7-0, on Wednesday afternoon at Bob Hannah Stadium.
Wednesday was the first time the NCAA Division I Blue Hens (22-15) have been able to take down the local rival Wildcats (11-21) since the 2013 season. It is also the first time the Blue Hens shutout the Wildcats since a 6-0 victory in 1994. The last shutout in the series came in 2011 when the Wildcats beat the Blue Hens, 4-0.
It was also senior Mike Torres' first career start for the Wildcats, as all of his previous 32 appearances have come out of the pen over the past two seasons. He went the first three innings on Wednesday, but it was a pair of walks in the first innings that put the Wildcats in an early hole.
Two walks and two stolen bases put runners on second and third with no outs in the frame, and the home team got on the board with an RBI groundout and a one-out single to center for a quick 2-0 lead.
Torres settled in and recorded four straight outs before the Blue Hens loaded the bases with two outs in the second. The righty worked out of the jam with a strikeout to strand three. Torres again got in trouble with two outs in the third, as the Blue Hens put runners on first and second with a double and a hit by pitch. But Torres induced a foul out to first to keep the deficit at 2-0.
The offense picked up their first hit of the game with one out in the top of the second, but Kyle Fries was left there as Spadafino picked up a strike out and got Dan Hyatt to line out to third. The Wildcats wouldn't get another hit until the ninth inning.
The Blue Hens picked up a single run in the fourth on an RBI groundout and then added four more in the sixth to cap the scoring.
John Hetterman tossed a scoreless fifth while Peter Monahan pitched a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts. Kyle Menchaca finished the day on the mound for the Wildcats with a scoreless eighth.
Fries went 1-for-2 with a double while Jesse Long picked up the other hit for the Wildcats in the ninth, going 1-for-3.
The Wildcats return to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action on Thursday, as they host Philadelphia in an important CACC doubleheader at Wilson Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.