April 25, 2008
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Brian Hartsell drove in three runs and Mike Coleman scored three as Saint Joseph's surpassed its 2007 conference win total with a resounding 11-4 victory over the Massachusetts Minutemen in Atlantic 10 baseball action on Friday afternoon. Lefthander Randy Mower notched his sixth victory of the season, the most by a Hawk hurler since 1996.
Saint Joseph's (15-24, 7-9 Atlantic 10) jumped into the lead early, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning. After a leadoff single by Coleman and a double by Hartsell, Ben Wendle hit a sacrifice fly to put SJU ahead. A David Valesente RBI single then made it 2-0 Hawks.
Massachusetts (12-19, 5-11 Atlantic 10) equalized in the top of the second after a hit batsmen and a walk preceded two singles, the second of which plated two runs to tie the score. The Minutemen took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth after a runner on third crossed home plate just prior to a runner on first being caught stealing.
SJU responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the inning to re-take the lead. After two hits and a walk, the Hawks had the bases loaded with nobody out. Joe Cook grounded out to first to bring home Ryan McDonald with the tying run. Coleman then executed a successful squeeze bunt as the ball rolled to a stop in fair territory and allowed Kenny Pustizzi to score the go-ahead run. A sacrifice fly by Brian Hartsell and another RBI single by Valesente put SJU on top 6-3.
Jim MacDonald doubled down the left field line in the top of the sixth to bring the Minutemen back within two at 6-4. SJU scored two more in the bottom half on a double by Matt Barnathan and a single by Cook.
The Hawks put the game on ice in the bottom of the eighth with three more runs. A throwing error by UMass third baseman Cody Kauffman allowed one run to score and a double by Hartsell brought in the final two runs of the game.
Mower was strong as he improved to 6-4 on the year. He scattered seven hits over seven innings, ceding four runs. Justin Trudell pitched the eighth and ninth, striking out three while surrendering just one hit. Brian Leigh (3-4) took the loss for Massachusetts.
The teams will return to Latshaw-McCarthy Field on Saturday for a 1:00 game. Dominic Favazza will pitch for Saint Joseph's, while Mike DiCato is the likely starter for the Minutemen.