March 17, 2009
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team took an early lead against Villanova but could not make it hold up as the Hawks dropped Tuesday's game in extra innings, losing 9-6 in 10. Mike Coleman led the way with three hits for the Crimson and Gray.
Villanova (10-6) scored in the top of the first after a bunt single, a sacrifice bunt and a ground out put a runner on third with two outs. SJU starter A.J. Holland was called for a balk, allowing Matt Szczur to score the first run of the game. Catcher Wes Borden followed with a double and came around with the second run on a single by Matt McFolling.
Saint Joseph's (4-10) took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with three runs. Mike Coleman led off the frame with SJU's first hit, a single to left. A triple by Matt Barnathan cut the Wildcat lead in half and then a single by Ryan McDonald erased it completely. Three batters later, Brian Hartsell ripped a double to the fence in left center to bring McDonald around from first and put the Hawks on top, 3-2.
Hartsell extended the lead in the sixth, coming to the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out. His double to right field plated two and after a walk by Mike Boyland, Evan Spano hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 6-2.
The Hawks started off strong once again in the seventh, as Coleman and Barnathan hit back to back singles to put runners on first and second with nobody out, but VU left Mike Francisco retired the next three hitters to eliminate the threat.
Villanova tied the game in the top of the eighth after David Koczirka doubled and came around on a sacrifice fly by Szczur. That was followed by a two-run double by Dain Hall and a single through the left side by Borden, leaving the game at 6-6.
The Wildcats looked to go ahead in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with two out. However, SJU reliever Chris Hildreth struck out designated hitter Joe Rosati to end the inning as the Wildcats left the bases loaded for the third time in the game.
VU finally broke the deadlock in the top of the 10th, loading the bases once again with two outs. This time, Koczirka came through with a double to left center to clear the bases and give Villanova a three-run lead.
Mike Blahusch led off the bottom of the inning with a single but was stranded on first as Kyle Carver sent the Hawks down to close out the game for his first save.
Coleman had three hits at the top of the order while Hartsell was 2-for-5 with three runs driven in.
SJU returns to action tomorrow as the Hawks play host to Lehigh. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.