May 2, 2010
RICHMOND, Va. - Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, the Saint Joseph's baseball team sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs on their way to an 18-9 victory over Richmond at Pitt Field on Sunday afternoon. Seniors Ryan McDonald and Drew Smith led the SJU offense with four hits apiece. McDonald also led the squad with six runs batted in.
Saint Joseph's (16-22 overall, 11-7 Atlantic 10) got things started right away in the first. Mike Coleman led off the game with a walk and came around to score two batters later on a single by Dewey Oriente. After a groundout and a walk, McDonald ripped a double down the right field line to plate Oriente and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
Richmond (20-21 overall, 7-11 Atlantic 10) got one back in the bottom half after Adam McConnell reached on an error and eventually scored on a fielder's choice by Billy Barber.
Barber led off the bottom of the fourth and reached on an error and came around to score when Chris Cowell homered to right center, putting the Spiders on top, 3-2.
David Valesente knotted the game in the top of the fifth with a one-out home run, his fourth of the season.
The Spiders jumped back ahead in the bottom of the sixth, as an error by Coleman allowed a pair of runs to score and put UR ahead, 5-3.
The game turned in SJU's favor in the top of the seventh. Brett Tiagwad led off with a single and went to third on a single by Oriente. Two batters later, Kevin Taylor singled in Tiagwad to get the Hawks within one. McDonald followed with a single to right that plated Oriente and tied the game at five.
After the Spiders brought in reliever Jolmi Minaya-Suriel, Quinn Renner greeted him with a double down the left field line to score Taylor and give SJU the lead. Smith came through with a single to right to score both runners and extend the lead to three. Brian Hartsell up and hit a ball that was misplayed by center fielder Robby Massar, leaving runners on second and third with one out for Coleman, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Smith and give the Hawks a 9-5 lead.
Tiagwad then hit his second single of the inning, scoring Hartsell. After a single by Oriente and an intentional walk to Valesente, Taylor ripped a double down the right field line to score two. McDonald followed with another two-run double before Renner grounded out to end the biggest inning of the season with the Hawks on top, 14-5.
Mike Mergenthaler led off the home half of the seventh with a solo home run, but after a single by Smith to start the top of the eighth, Tiagwad hit his first career home run to push the Hawk advantage to 16-6.
An RBI groundout by Derek Boliek in the bottom of the eighth closed the deficit to single digits, but the Hawks added another pair in the top of the ninth when McDonald hit his fourth home run of the season down the right field line.
Richmond added two runs in the bottom of the ninth on a leadoff double by Barber and two-run home run by Cameron Brown, but Mike Boyland retired the next three hitters to end the game.
Adam Rivera worked three innings and gave up four runs, two earned, on five hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter, earning his team-best fifth win of the season. Alex Maffett took the loss for Richmond, falling to 0-2, after allowing four runs and five hits in an inning and a third.
McDonald was 4-for-5 with six RBI and two runs scored for the Hawks, while Smith finished 4-for-6 with two runs driven in and two scored. Oriente, Taylor and Tiagwad all had three hits; Tiagwad and Taylor added three RBI as well. Tiagwad and Valesente paced the squad with three runs scored apiece, while Taylor also scored twice.
The Hawks will take a few days off before a critical conference series with Fordham. Game one with the Rams is set for Friday, May 7, at 1:00 p.m. at Campbell's Field.