Local roundup: Hens top Terps in baseball, UD women win in CAA quarterfinals

With Cape Henlopen High grad Diaz Nardo leading the way, Delaware picked up a satisfying 7-1 victory at Maryland in nonconference baseball on Thursday afternoon.

Nardo, a senior third baseman, tied his career-high with five RBI, went 4-for-4 with a home run and a pair of doubles, while first baseman Nick Patten went two-for-three, hitting his first home of the season in the fifth.

“Overall, I’m just focusing on Coach (Jim) Sherman’s approach of driving the ball to right center and standing closer to the plate,” said Nardo. “Today especially I jumped on the sliders that I saw driving them into the gaps.

“It was great to help the team get a win. Our pitchers today were unbelievable. It started with Matty Hornich and continued down the line. The pitching has been tremendous all year long for us. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling into the weekend.”

Lefty Hornich (1-0) pitched the first five innings for Delaware, allowing just three hits and one run. He struck out four, lowering his ERA to 1.74 on the year.

For the sixth and part of the seventh inning, Delaware turned to freshman Chris Ludman (1.2 IP, 2K) who recorded his first career UD strikeout. Righty Clay Conaway (0.2 IP, 1K) — the Sussex Central High grad — relieved Ludman and recorded the final two outs of the seventh.

Colman Vila replaced Conaway in the eighth, pitching the final inning and two-thirds to close the door.

College basketball

WOMEN, Delaware 61, Northeastern 50: A balanced attack led the fifth-seeded Blue Hens past the No. 4 Huskies in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday afternoon.

By snapping a three-game losing streak against Northeastern, Delaware (19-11) advance to face top-seeded and host Drexel at 3 p.m. today in the semifinals.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this group,” said first-year Delaware coach Natasha Adair. “This group wants the ultimate goal and the preparation and commitment that this group has put in has been tremendous. We see it night in and night out with their work ethic and with their selfless acts towards each other.

“We’ve been challenging them to put it all together and to see that today makes me proud.”

All five starters for the Hens scored at least five points while CAA Player of the Year Nicole Enabosi posted her 23rd double-double of the year as she finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds to go along with five assists, three blocked shots and three steals.

Sophomore Abby Gonzales added 13 points while classmate Samone DeFreese collected 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Delaware tied a program and CAA Tournament record by holding Northeastern to just three points in the second quarter. NU’s one field goal in the second quarter also set a CAA Tournament record.

The Hens have reached 19 wins, the most since the 2013-14 campaign when Delaware went 20-11.

Delaware advances to the CAA Semifinals for the 14th time in program history and first time since the 2015-16 season.

Basketball

Smyrna’s Matthews wins Gatorade award: Smyrna High senior guard Caleb Matthews has been named the Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year in boys’ basketball.

The 6-foot-3, 160-pounder lead the Eagles to the Henlopen Conference title and a berth in the DIAA state semifinals. Matthews is averaging 21.8 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game while shooting 51.4 percent from inside the arc and 40.2 percent from three-point range.

In addition to serving as a referee with the youth program Upward Sports, Matthews volunteers locally as a camp counselor with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and on behalf of the M.O.T. Future Stars basketball camp.

Matthews has maintained a weighted 3.49 GPA in the classroom. He remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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