GIBSON CRACKS TWO GAME-WINNING HOMERS AS HAWKS SWEEP LA SALLE
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications
PHILADELPHIA (04/20/01) - Senior Tom Gibson blasted a pair of game-winning home runs to cap St. Joseph's comebacks and help SJU (15-17-1, 5-3 A-10) to a sweep of La Salle (9-24, 6-8 A-10) in Atlantic 10 baseball action.Kevin Kirkby closed out the victories for the Crimson and Gray to tien and then break the school's single season record with six. SJU rallied from a 4-1 deficit in the first game and a 10-3 margin in game two to defeat the Explorers's 7-5 and 13-10. In game two, SJU trailed by seven runs, but awoke from its slumber for three runs in the fifth inning to make the score 10-6. Eric Wyatt smacked a solo home run and Mike DeVincentis drilled a two-run job for the Hawks. The team then proceeded to load the bases, before a double play snuffed out the rally. A seven-run sixth inning then catapulted SJU into the lead for good. Four straight singles by Rich Caloiero, Wyatt, Justin Godusky and Kirkby opened the inning. DeVincentis then bounced a ball to shortstop that should have forced Kirkby out and plated a run, but a La Salle error kept the bases loaded. A sacrifice fly by Jim Reilly made the score 10-9. A single by Tim Gunn then tacked on another run to knot the game and move DeVincentis to second. Pace Bradshaw then singled to rightfield and DeVincentis tried to score from second to give the Hawks their first lead. A strong throw by the rightfielder forced a violent collision at the plate and then the La Salle catcher Mike Kelly gave DeVincentis an extra pop after the play. Both benches cleared, but order was quickly restored with out any further conflict. The bench clearing incident only further hightened the drama as Gibson the game one hero stepped to the plate with Gunn and Bradshaw aboard. After taking a few pitches, Gibson crushed a three-run home run to leftcenter field that gave the Hawks the lead. On the mound, an eight-run third inning chased Hawk starter Eric Vardijan and his replacement Don Peterson. They were bailed out, however by the Hawk offense and arguably the best performance of the year by Mike Minerva. Minerva through 3.2 shutout innings of relief to earn his first win of the year. Kirby closed it out for his sixth save of the year, a new Hawk record. Gibson was also the hero in game one, as SJU scratched back from a 4-1 deficit. The Hawks scored two runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings with Gibson's two-run blast capping the comeback. Reilly got the SJU rally going with a two-run homer in the fifth the smacked off the scoreboard in leftfield and made the score 4-3. After La Salle plated a run in the bottom half of the inning, Godusky and DeVincentis had RBI singles to tie the game in the sixth. Doug Sieger continued his stellar work on the hill and earned the win to improve to 2-2. He threw six innings and struckout a career-high seven batters. Kirkby closed out the game for his fifth save. Besides Gibson, Kirkby and DeVincentis combined to go 9-17 with 5 runs and 5 RBI. Gibson had just two hits, but both were home runs and he drove in five runs. Gunn and Godusky added three hits apiece for SJU in game two. The Hawks will conclude the Atlantic 10's doubleheader weekend on Sunday by hosting Temple in a Conference twinbill.