April 27, 2012
OLEAN, N.Y. - Trailing by a run entering the ninth inning, the Saint Joseph's baseball team reminded everyone that "The Hawk Will Never Die," scoring six runs to emerge with a 7-2 win over St. Bonaventure at Fred Handler Park on Friday afternoon. It is the 10th consecutive Atlantic 10 series-opening win for the Hawks dating back to last season.
Saint Joseph's (18-23 overall, 8-4 Atlantic 10) had a prime opportunity to open the scoring in the top of the third inning as Quinn Renner led off the frame with a double to right, but Bonnies starter Eddie Gray escaped the jam and stranded Renner on third.
The Hawks did strike in the fourth, however, as Greg Kumpel led off the inning with his third home run of the season to give SJU a 1-0 lead.
St. Bonaventure (17-17 overall, 5-8 Atlantic 10) tied it up in the bottom half as Billy Urban hit a one-out single to score Jason Radwan.
Urban singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh and made his way to third with two outs, but SJU starter Kyle Mullen induced a soft lineout from Justin Brozick to end the inning.
The Bonnies went ahead with two outs in the eighth as Eric Jutca hit a two-out double and came in to score on a single by Radwan.
With the Hawks down to their final three outs, Stefan Kancylarz led off the ninth with a four-pitch walk. Tommy Cunningham followed with a single to put runners on the corners for Renner, who was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
After an infield fly for the first out, Ryan Pater drew a walk to plate Kancylarz with the tying run. Brett Tiagwad followed with a squeeze bunt that pitcher Cael Johnson threw away, allowing Renner and pinch runner Tim Craig to score and put the Hawks on top, 4-2.
Steven Schuler, who had come on to get the final out in the eighth, pitched a perfect ninth and was credited with the win. Radwan took the loss as he loaded the bases in the top of the ninth before giving way to Johnson.
Mullen tossed seven and two-thirds innings of outstanding ball, allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk while fanning six. Gray was equally spectacular, striking out eight against two walks and five hits through seven and a third.
The teams will play the second of a three-game set on Saturday. First pitch is set for noon.