April 28, 2006
RICHMOND, VA - Junior Mike Gentile went 3-4 and Saint Joseph's (15-29, 7-9 A-10) scored five times in the top of the ninth inning to make things interesting, but dropped a 9-7 decision to Richmond (17-25, 8-8 A-10) in Atlantic 10 baseball at Pitt Field.
SJU took an early lead manufacturing a run in the top of the first. Tim Smith walked and stole second. He then came home to score when Mike Blahusch reached on a fielding error by the second baseman. Blahusch also stole second and could have helped ignite a big inning, but he was hung up and tagged out between third and home after Mike Gentile singled to right.
Richmond placed runners all over the base paths over the first three innings, but Hawk junior Bob Unkel was able to limit the damage, pitching in and out of trouble. The PSiders scored twice in teh first and added single runs in teh second and third, but whith the Hawks scoring in the top of the third it was just a two run game through four innings.
Throwing errors by two different Hawk third baseman helped to extend both the fifth and seventh innings as Richmond added three unearned runs to build a 7-2 lead. They then tacked on two more runs in the eighth to give themselves a seemingly insurmountable 9-2 edge
Saint Joseph's did not fold trailing 9-2 in the ninth. The Hawks sent nine men to the plate and scored five runs off Richmond reliever Jason Bolinski before forcing him out of the game. Saint Joseph's got an RBI double from Mike Gers, a two-run single from Tim Smith and a two-run double from Matt Godusky to pull within two. The Spiders' Brian Alas then came on with two outs and the tying run at the plate to induce a groundout to end the game and pick up his fourth save of the season.
UR senior Ja Jones (1-1) allowed just two runs in seven innings to earn his first win of the season. Jones gave up the two Hawk runs over the first three innings, then retired 13 of the next 17 he faced to end his appearance. Unkel (3-5) suffered the setback for SJU. He surrendered six runs (four earned) in five innings of work.
Richmond and Saint Joseph's will resume the three-game set Saturday, April 29, when they meet in game two slated for 1:00 PM. Sophomore Alex Hale (5-1, 2.60 ERA) will go for the Spiders, while SJU will send righthander Jason Hessler (2-6, 5.00 ERA) to the mound in the weekend's second game.