April 16, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Trailing 6-5 in the eighth inning, Saint Joseph's put three runs on the board in the top half of the frame to move past Lehigh, 8-6, in non-conference baseball action on Thursday. The Hawks have now won four straight games and six of their last seven.
Lehigh (9-28-1) knotted the game up in the bottom half of the frame on a fielder's choice by Kevin Mihalik.
The Mountain Hawks cut into the lead on a solo home run by Rob Russell. Saint Joseph's got the run back in the top of the fourth, however, after Drew Smith brought Cook home with a fielder's choice to give SJU a 5-2 advantage.
Lehigh began to chip away at the deficit, scoring a single run in the fourth and another in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-4.
LU went ahead for the first time in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Russell and a fielder's choice by Mihalik, setting the stage for the late-inning rally.
In the top of the eighth, Mihalik moved to the mound and gave up a double to Ryan Kemp, who had come in to pitch for SJU. Mike Coleman followed with a single to put runners on the corner with nobody out for Mike Plakis, who tied the game with a double to right center to score Kemp. A wild pitch brought the go-ahead run across the plate and moved Plakis to third, where he would score on a sacrifice fly by Cook to close the scoring.
Kemp went an inning and a third, giving up just a hit and a walk, to earn his first victory of the season. Mihalik took the loss, falling to 1-4. Ben Wendle worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
At the plate, Oriente was the only Hawk to record multiple hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Cook was 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored, and two runs batted in. David Valesente had one hit in five at bats to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
The Hawks will look to push their overall and Atlantic 10 winning streaks to five on Friday with a 3:00 p.m. game at Massachusetts. Live stats will be available at SJUHawks.com.