April 7, 2012
ST. LOUIS - An eight-run fourth inning powered the Saint Joseph's baseball team to a 10-4 win over Saint Louis at the Billiken Sports Center on Saturday afternoon. Alex Pracher threw seven shutout innings, allowing just five hits, while the Hawk offense pounded out 15 hits to match a season-high.
Pracher struck out eight and did not allow a walk in his seven innings on Saturday. For the series, the three Hawk starters ¬- Pracher, Jordan Carter, and Kyle Mullen - allowed just four runs in 21 and two-thirds innings pitched while notching 21 strikeouts against just two walks.
The Hawks have now won four straight for the second time this season and have won eight out of their last 10 games overall.
Saint Louis (21-10 overall, 5-4 Atlantic 10) loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the second, but Steve Fernandez was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch and Pracher induced a strikeout and a groundout to escape the early jam.
Saint Joseph's (12-20 overall, 4-2 Atlantic 10) exploded for eight runs in the fourth to break the game open. With one out in the frame, Brian O'Keefe singled up the middle and went to third on a double by Tommy Cunningham. Quinn Renner followed with a double down the left field line to plate both runners and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
Renner's hit chased starter Damian Rivera, but Nick Bates did not fare much better for the Billikens. Brett Tiagwad greeted Bates with a single and stole second to put runners on second and third for Anthony Cirillo, who drew a walk to load the bases. Lansing Veeder then followed with a walk of his own to bring in Renner and extend the lead to three.
Bates was then lifted for Jon Levin, who allowed RBI singles to Stefan Kancylarz and Greg Kumpel to push the Hawk margin to 5-0. Kevin Taylor then drew a walk to score Veeder with the sixth run of the inning. After another SLU pitching change, O'Keefe followed with a sacrifice fly before Cunningham notched his second hit of the inning to give SJU the 8-0 lead.
The advantage ballooned to 10-0 in the top of the seventh after Renner scored on an error and Kumpel singled in Tiagwad.
The Billikens broke through in the eighth, scoring their first run of the game on a single by Devin O'Rourke. SLU posted a three-spot in the bottom of the ninth on a Danny Brennan single and an A.J. Vandervorste double, but Daniel Thorpe induced a groundout from Jordan Hammerman to end the ballgame.
Tiagwad finished the day with three hits and a pair of runs scored. Cunningham, Kanylarz, Kumpel, Renner, and Taylor all notched two hits for the Hawks; Renner also added two runs scored. Kumpel and Renner posted two-RBI games as well.
The Hawks will return to the Maguire Campus for their next four games, hosting Delaware on April 11 at 3:00 p.m. before Atlantic 10 rival Massachusetts comes to town on April 13. Streaming audio and Gametracker are available for all four games at SJUHawks.com.