DOVER, Del. (CBS) – It was quite the day on Tuesday for University of Delaware senior first baseman Steve Ulaky. In a 12-9, come-from-behind win over rival Delaware State, Ulaky hit three home runs — including two in a nine-run 8th inning — and knocked in 7 for the Blue Hens.
The three home runs in a game ties a Univ. of Delaware record, and Ulaky is just the third Delaware player ever to go deep twice in a single inning. He says it’s all a bit surreal.
“(Tuesday) night it was kind of overwhelming, and I’ve never experienced something like that, but (now) I’ve had a chance to let it sink in a little bit,” he told KYW Newsradio. “It feels nice, it feels good.”
Hear Matt Leon’s full interview with Steve Ulaky in this CBS Philly SportsPod…
Ulaky hit his first home run in the third: a two-run shot that gave the Blue Hens a 3-0 lead. Delaware State then scored nine unanswered runs to take a 9-3 lead into the 8th inning.
That’s where this one gets historic. Ulaky kickstarted a rousing rally with a two-run bomb to right center that pulled the Blue Hens to within four, 9-5. Delaware’s bats got hot, and got Ulaky to the plate again that same inning, with the score eventually tied at nine and two men on.
The senior says hitting another big fly wasn’t really on his mind at that moment.
“In that situation, I really told myself, ‘Hit a hard ground ball, line drive, get that go-ahead run in, and go from there,’ and I happen to just get a pitch to drive and turned on it,” he recalls.
The three-run home run to center — on an 0-2 pitch nonetheless — completed a miraculous comeback for Delaware and capped an impressive box score line for Ulaky.
While there is no doubt that Ulaky can rake — he’s a career .360 hitter — a power display like this wasn’t on his radar:
“Honestly, I had a rough weekend this past weekend, didn’t hit the ball very well. Came out of batting practice, felt better, but you never have an inkling that you’re going to go out and have a day like that.
“I know I have the ability to drive the ball, but I honestly consider myself more of a gap-to-gap hitter. (Tuesday) I was obviously a power hitter.”
The win improved Delaware to 11-10 this season; they host William and Mary for a three-game series this weekend.
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.