An new cast of characters took center stage for SJU, propelling the team into the title game for just the second time in program history. The Hawks dropped a heartbreaking 14-13 decision to Villanova in the finalin 1999.
Volker (1-1), making just his third career start, sparkled on the hill. He allowed just four hits and one earned run, while striking out a Hawk season-high eight batters to collect his first collegiate win. He retired 18 of the final 19 UD batters he faced.
The game was all square at 1-1 entering the sixth inning. Senior John Kokol then opened the frame with a walk and Kevin Dougher followed with a single. After a strikeout, Baldasari then stepped to the plate. In the midst of an 0-13 slide, he broke out in a big way ripping a double sharply down the leftfield line and into the corner. Kokol and Dougher raced home to put SJU on top 3-1.
St. Joe's went down in order in the seventh, but Kokol, Dougher and Baldasari started a four-run Hawk rally in the eighth. Kokol walked and Dougher reached base on a sacrifice bunt, as Delaware tried to get the lead runner. It was then deja va as Baldasari smacked another double in to the corner,plating Kokol and moving Dougher to third. Sophomore Rob Pimpinella followed Baldasari with a two-run single to break the game wide open. Junior Jason Tarewicz added another RBI single to close out the inning and the scoring.
Baldasari finished 2-4 with one run and three RBI. Tarewicz also added two hits and Pimpinella added a couple of RBI.
The win was the first by SJU over Delaware since 1999. Ironically, that victory came in the Liberty Bell semifinals and propelled SJU to its first tournament final.