VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH SWEEPS HAWKS IN SEASON OPENING TWIN-BILL
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications
RICHMOND, VA (02/16/02) - Junior Mike Walls came up with three hits and sophomore Erik Holman tossed a complete game in his Hawk debut, but the Saint Joseph's baseball team (0-2) came up short against Virginia Commonwealth (2-4) in its season opening doubleheader at The Diamond. The Rams won the first game 14-3 and then took the second game 4-0. The nightcap featured a duel between VCU's Bo Acors and Hawks' Holman, who allowed just two hits over the first five frames. Senior second baseman Bryan Gillespie started the Rams' rally with a leadoff walk and promptly stole second. After a sacrifice bunt from junior Jose Pabon and an intentional walk to classmate Danny Lopaze, Holman issued a free pass to junior Rigo Orozco to load the bases. Mattison then delivered a line-drive that reached the left-center field wall to clear the sacks and sophomore third baseman Nick Jones followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Mattison for a 4-0 VCU advantage. In the opener, Rams' senior Davy Martin threw seven strong innings and VCU pounded out a season-high 13 hits to earn a 14-3 win. Jones led the VCU offense in game one with three hits and two RBI, while Lopaze finished two-for-four with a pair of RBI in the opener. The Rams also received two hits each from Gillespie and Mattison, while senior catcher Ed Bongard, a transfer from Xavier, drove in two runs during the win. VCU jumped on Saint Joseph's starter Mike Minerva with a pair of first-inning runs in game one. A leadoff walk to senior center fielder Matt Davis and a base hit from Gillespie set the stage for Lopaze's two-run single to left which opened the scoring. The Hawks countered with two runs of their own in the top of the second to tie the game. Junior John Kokol opened the frame with a base hit and later came home on a ground out off the bat of sophomore catcher Justin Wolfer, and junior right fielder Kevin Dougher poked a two-out single to score Mike Walls for a 2-2 tie. The Rams took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the second. Mattison led off with a base hit to left and crossed the plate after a wild pitch and throwing error by Wolfer, and Jones later doubled off the left field wall and scored on a Bongard ground ball to give VCU a 4-2 cushion. RBI doubles from Pabon and Orozco in the third extended the Rams' advantage to four runs and VCU tacked on three more runs off Minerva in the fifth to take a commanding 9-2 lead. Martin allowed just one Saint Joseph's hit after the second and scattered five hits and two runs to improve to 1-1 on the year. Walls finished with two hits in three at-bats to lead the Hawks in their season debut. The two teams wrap up their three game set tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.