Roundup: Ake’s homer lifts Blue Hens at CAA baseball tourney

Jeremy Ake’s two-run homer in the fifth inning lifted fourth-seeded Delaware to a 5-3 victory over No. 1 Northeastern in the Colonial Athletic Association baseball tournament on Thursday night at Brooks Field.

The Blue Hens (32-21) advance to today’s winner’s bracket final against the winner of Thursday’s late game between No. 2 UNCW and No. 3 William & Mary.

Ake, who finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, broke a 2-2 tie with his third home run of the season to left.

Also for the Hens, who are 2-0 in the double-elimination tourney, Brian Mayer was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI, while Nick Tierno went 2-for-3 and Jordan Glover was 2-for-5.

Junior Nick Spadafino (Dover) upped his record to 7-2 after allowing just two runs on five hits over 5.1 innings and striking out six. Reliever Colman Vila gave up only one unearned run over 2.1 innings and Burk FitzPatrick tossed the final 1.1 innings to earn his sixth save.

Blue Hen right-hander and Dover High product Nick Spadafino delivers a pitch during Thursday’s CAA Tournament game against Northeastern at UNC Wilmington. Spadafino started and allowed two hits and two runs while striking out six in 5.1 innings. (UNCW Athletics photo/Joe Browning ).

“The story tonight again is our pitching with a bit of clutch hitting,” said Delaware coach Jim Sherman, whose team downed College of Charleston in the tournament opener Wednesday. “That’s been the story of this tournament so far as we’ve given up just six hits and two runs in two games. It was a great job by all our pitchers, and by (pitching) coach (Troy) O’Neal for calling a great game. Our pitchers are hitting their spots at the right times. It was a great job by all three guys.”

Delaware took advantage of a Northeastern miscue to grab the lead in the second. Doug Trimble reached on a two-out error and consecutive singles from Diaz Nardo (Cape Henlopen), Tierno and Mayer put the Hens on top, 1-0.

Delaware tacked on another run in the fourth when Mayer’s bloop single to right brought home Ake.

Hen third baseman Diaz Nardo, a Cape Henlopen product, looks in toward home plate. (UNCW Athletics photo/Joe Browning)

After Ake’s two-run shot put the Hens back on top, Delaware added to its lead in the sixth. Tierno hit a one-out single and Mayer drove him in with a double to the fence in left.

High school tourneys

Tourney schedules changed by rain: Thursday’s rainy weather caused the rescheduling of several DIAA state tournaments.

• The final round of the boys’ and girls’ tennis state tennis tournaments were postponed until today.

Because of the University of Delaware’s graduation, the finals have also been moved to St. Andrews School in Middletown where the first matches will begin today at 1 p.m.

The defending state champion Caesar Rodney High girls’ squad is in first place with 20 points and has all five entries in the final. Second-place Archmere has 17 points and three entries in the finals, where two points are awarded for a victory.

• The quarterfinals of the DIAA softball tourney were also moved to today. The Milford-at-Appoquinimink contest will still start at 1 p.m. because Milford’s graduation was also postponed until tonight.

• The DIAA girls’ lacrosse state championship game, between Cape Henlopen and St. Mark’s, will now be played on Tuesday at the Delaware Turf Complex at 7 p.m.

• The quarterfinals of the DIAA Division II girls’ soccer tournament were also moved from Thursday to Tuesday night. The semifinals of that tourney have also been moved from Wednesday to Thursday, June 1.

Baseball

Dover, Smyrna pairings changed: The DIAA reshuffled some of the pairings for the baseball state tournament after realizing that Hodgson should have been awarded the No. 13 seed over Dover by a tiebreaker.

The 20-team tourney begins on Saturday with four first-round games at noon.

The No. 13 Silver Eagles will now face No. 20 Smyrna at noon at Middletown with the winner taking on the Cavaliers afterward. Dover, now the No. 14 seed, will play No. 19 Delaware Military at Appoquinimink with the winner taking on the Jaguars in the second round.

College softball

CR’s Burton named All-American: Wilmington University outfielder Rosa’Lynn Burton, a Caesar Rodney High grad, capped her outstanding freshman campaign by being named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II second team All-American squad on Wednesday night.

It is the first NFCA All-American in the Wildcats’ NCAA era while also the first time a student-athlete has earned second-team All-American status in program history. Burton joins alumnae Katie Warrington (2013) and Chelsea Botsch (2015), from Smyrna, as the only other All-Americans for the Wildcats.

Burton led the Wildcats and finished second in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference with a .463 batting average, while also pacing the league with 88 hits, 57 runs, and 41 stolen bases, all of which were single-season program records for the Wildcats. The CACC Freshman of the Year owns a .500 on-base percentage with 12 doubles, seven triples (which are tied for 10th in the NCAA), and a homer for a .616 slugging percentage.

College track & field

Wesley teams make finals: The Wesley College women’s 4×400-meter relay team survived the rainy weather and advanced to Saturday’s finals in the first day of competition at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

The team of Elizsha Streeter, Briana Artis, Quadira Minus, and Angel Hall finished third in their heat with a time of 3:46.66, which put the Wolverines fourth overall in the preliminary race. The event is being held at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.

The men’s 4×100-meter relay team of Patrick Schlosser, Greg Taylor, DaJahn Lowery and Terrance Mack placed 13th in the preliminaries with a time of 41.84 seconds. That time didn’t advance the tandem into Saturday’s final.

The Wolverines continue competition on Friday with Roland Attoh-Okine racing in the prelims of the 60-meter hurdles at approximately 2:30 p.m.

UD’s McGroarty places 29th in NCAAs: Delaware junior distance runner Liz McGroarty opened action at the NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track & Field East Regionals with a 29th-place finish in the 1,500-meter run at the University of Kentucky Outdoor Track & Field Complex on Thursday.

McGroarty ran a time of 4:25.09 to place ninth in her heat and 29th overall, but just missed earning one of 24 spots in the quarterfinals.

Her time of 4:25.09 was only .55 off her career best and just .91 shy of the final qualifying spot.

Delaware will continue action at the East Regionals today when junior Sarah Hillman (Polytech) competes in the discus throw at 2 p.m.

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

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