March 6, 2008
WINTER PARK, Fla. - Despite jumping out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, the Saint Joseph's baseball team could not hold on and dropped an extra-inning heartbreaker, 8-6, to Holy Cross. The Hawks were plagued by an inability to drive in baserunners, as they left 17 runners on base and three times left the bases loaded. Sophomore Dewey Oriente led the Hawk batsmen with three hits. The defeat drops SJU into a tie for third place in the Rollins College Baseball Week standings with one game left before the playoff round.
The Hawks added three in the third on just one hit after Cook and Jeremy Jakubowski drew walks to start the inning. Oriente hit a single to left field to load the bases before Wendle was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. Two batters later, Mike Boyland was also hit by a pitch to score Jakubowski. Catcher Phil Pursino then drew a walk to score Oriente and push the lead to 4-0.
Holy Cross (2-5) cut the lead in half in the fourth on an RBI double and a sacrifice fly. A pair of wild pitches by Crusaders reliever Ryan George allowed Jakubowski to score and give the Hawks a 5-2 lead after four innings.
The Crusaders tallied a singleton in the sixth on a home run by designated hitter Brendan Akashian to trim the lead to 5-3 before things came unraveled for SJU in the seventh.
SJU starter Randy Mower allowed a walk and a single to put runners on first and third with nobody out in the top of the seventh before being replaced by senior Mark Imbo. Imbo allowed a sacrifice fly and a walk before being taken out of the game in favor of Justin Trudell. With runners on first and second and one out, Trudell was called for a balk, allowing the runners to advance. After a grounder to third notched the second out and held the runners in place, a passed ball allowed Holy Cross catcher Tim Hughes to score the tying run. A wild pitch then brought home third baseman Matt Perry and put the Crusaders on top for the first time, 6-5.
The teams traded zeroes on the scoreboard until the 11th, when the Crusaders got an RBI triple from centerfielder Brendan McCrea and then scored again on a throwing error by Boyland.
Saint Joseph's would not go quietly in the bottom of the inning, however. After a single and a fielding error by Perry put runners on first and second with two outs, Cook hit a line drive towards the hole that was speared by second baseman Jake Gorman to end the game.
Mower was solid in his six-plus innings of work, scattering six hits and ceding five runs, just three of them earned. He walked one and struck out three and received a no-decision. Sophomore Doug DiSandro took the loss and falls to 0-1. Junior Chris Prescott pitched three strong innings late in the game, allowing just two baserunners on a hit and a walk.
Saint Joseph's will take on the Rollins College Tars on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in their final game in the preliminary round of the Baseball Week tournament. The Hawks are still in contention for the tournament championship; if Georgetown defeats Rollins Thursday night and Holy Cross on Friday, then the winner of the SJU-Rollins tilt will face the Hoyas for the title.
Live stats and streaming audio for Friday's game will be available at RollinsSports.com.