March 31, 2006
PHILADELPHIA, PA - Junior right-hander Bob Unkel went seven strong innings, allowing just one earned run to earn his second consecutive victory, and Saint Joseph's (11-18, 3-1 A-10) took advantage of five La Salle (7-16, 2-2 A-10) errors to defeat the Explorers, 4-2, in the first game of a three-game Atlantic 10 set at Hank DeVincent Field.
SJU jumped out to a three-run lead after the fourth inning. The Hawks plated an unearned run in the third, as both Jeremy Jakubowski and Chris Cashman reached base by error and Tim Smith drove in the first run of the game with an infield single.
In the fourth, the Hawks got their first two batters, Mike Gentile and Jereme Scott, on base and Jakubowski moved them into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. A throwing error on a ground ball by Cashman then allowed both runners to score to put SJU on top 3-0.
Unkel handcuffed the Explorers for the first six innings, scattering three hits and striking out six, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Rich Prall drew a walk and moved to second on Dennis Burge's single and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Prall was called out at home when third baseman Adriano Petrutz threw to the plate on John Rickards grounder. However, the Explorers scored two on John Vincent's single and he moved all the way to third on a fielding error by Jereme Scott, but Unkel was able to work out of the jam with the Hawks on top 3-2.
La Salle again put the tying run on third in the eighth inning against Hawk reliever Mark Imbo, but could not plate the equalizer.
The Crimson and Gray added an insurance run in the ninth, as Cashman led off with a double, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Mike Blahusch's sacrifice fly to center.
La Salle's Dan Waters allowed just one earned run over six innings but was charged with the loss. Unkel recorded his second win of the season, while Mark Imbo pitched the final two innings for his third save.
The teams will continue their three-game series Saturday at 1 PM and finish it Sunday also at 1 PM.