May 15, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team opened its final Atlantic 10 series of the 2008 season with a victory over the rival La Salle Explorers, 6-2, on Thursday afternoon. The Hawks used a strong outing on the hill from sophomore Randy Mower and a big day at the plate from sophomore shortstop Joe Cook to secure the win. Cook was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and he also drove in a run with his second home run of the season.
In the top of the first inning, Saint Joseph's (18-32, 9-16 Atlantic 10) tallied two unearned runs to take a quick lead. After a leadoff walk to Mike Coleman, a wild pitch, a one-out walk to Jeremy Jakubowski, and another wild pitch, SJU had runners on second and third with one out. David Valesente then drew a walk to load the bases for Ben Wendle, who reached safely on a fielding error by the first baseman. Both Coleman and Jakubowski came home on the play, putting SJU up 2-0.
The Hawks posted a singleton in the second when Cook doubled and came around to score on an RBI single by Coleman.
La Salle (14-36, 9-16 Atlantic 10) scored a run in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by John Rickards.
SJU tallied again in both the fourth and sixth innings. After singling and stealing second, Cook advanced to third on a groundout by Coleman. Brian Hartsell then laced a two-out single down the left field line to plate Cook and make the score 4-1.
In the sixth, a sacrifice fly by Coleman scored Kenny Pustizzi, pushing the lead to four.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Cook sent a pitch over the left center field fence, giving the Hawks a 6-1 lead.
The Explorers scored once in the bottom of the ninth on a sacrifice fly.
Mower went seven innings, scattering seven hits over seven innings and allowing just one run. He notched the win to improve to 7-5. The seven victories are the highest total by a Hawk pitcher since Jed Johnson posted eight in 1995. Johnson, SJU's all-time winningest pitcher, shares the record for wins in a season with John Butz, who also won eight games in 1965.
Jamie Cowan took the loss to fall to 0-9 on the year. Doug DiSandro earned his first career save for SJU, entering the game with the bases loaded and no out in the eighth and retiring three straight hitters to end the Explorer threat.
The win is the 18th of the season for Saint Joseph's, the highest total since the 2001 squad won 23 games.
The second game of the three-game series is set for 3:00 p.m. on Friday at La Salle's Hank DeVincent Field.