April 21, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Four first-inning runs were the Hawks' undoing on Saturday afternoon as the Saint Joseph's baseball team fell to Charlotte, 7-2, at Hayes Stadium. Chris Hueth had a pair of hits for the Hawks.
Charlotte (17--21 overall, 5-9 Atlantic 10) was helped by a pair of SJU errors in the first inning, two of four that the Hawks would commit on the afternoon. Justin Roland led off the frame with a single and went to second on a walk by Leland Clemmons. A bunt single from Shane Brown then led to a throwing error that scored Roland with the game's first run.
Shane Basen then followed with a squeeze bunt to score Clemmons and push the lead to two. Tony Montalbano added a sacrifice fly before Derek Gallello singled home Corbin Shive to give the 49ers a 4-0 lead.
Greg Kumpel sliced the margin in half in the third inning for Saint Joseph's (17-22 overall, 7-4 Atlantic 10) with his second home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot to left that scored Ryan Pater and cut the deficit to 4-2.
The 49ers got both runs back in the bottom half, however, as Montalbano singled home Brown with one out before Gallello's RBI groundout played Montalbano to extend the lead to 6-2.
The Hawks threatened in the top of the sixth, getting runners to second and third with one out, but Charlotte starter Joe Yermal induced a groundout before making way for Brock Hudgens, who recorded a strikeout to end the inning and escape the jam.
There would be no more scoring until the bottom of the eighth, when the 49ers added an unearned run to set the final margin.
Alex Pracher took the loss to fall to 3-6 on the season. He allowed eight hits and six runs, five earned, in seven innings, while walking one and striking out four. Yermal improved to 5-3 on the year allowing two runs on six hits, notching five strikeouts and issuing one walk. Hudgens got his first save of the season, allowing just two baserunners in the final three and a third innings.
The teams will play the rubber game of the weekend series on Sunday at noon.