May 14, 2009
CAMDEN, N.J. - Mike Blahusch drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to bring home the winning run as the Saint Joseph's baseball team won the opener of the season's final series, 5-4, over the George Washington Colonials at Campbell's Field on Thursday afternoon. SJU hitters drew three bases on balls with the bases loaded over the course of the game.
David Valesente led off the ninth and was hit by a pitch. After a Dewey Oriente single left two on with no out, Chris Hildreth pinch ran at second for Valesente. Two batters later, pinch hitter Ryan Kemp hit a grounder down the line at third that skipped up off the bag and allowed all three runners to be safe. That set the stage for Blahusch, who came back from a 1-2 count to draw the free pass to win the game.
Saint Joseph's (16-28-1, 9-15 Atlantic 10) got on the board early, plating three runs in the bottom of the second. With the bases loaded, Mike Coleman ripped a single to right to score Blahusch and put the Hawks ahead, 1-0. Phil Pursino and Valesente followed with back-to-back bases-loaded walks to up the margin to three.
In the inning, Joe Cook was hit by a pitch to become the 100th Hawk batsman to reach base in that manner. The Hawks are the 19th team in NCAA history to achieve that feat, and they would raise their total to 102 before the end of the game.
George Washington (20-33, 9-15 Atlantic 10) did not record a hit until the fourth inning when Curtis Eward hit an RBI single to right to score Chris Holland with the Colonials' first run of the game.SJU answered in the bottom of the frame when Brett Tiagwad scored from second on a failed pickoff attempt by GW starter Chris Neary.
The Colonials got that run back in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Sean Rockey. GW climbed back within one in the top of the seventh as Brendon Kelliher singled in Rockey with two outs in the inning.
Eighth-inning woes once again struck for the Hawks as George Washington tied the game on a two-out single by Holland. In the bottom half, the Hawks looked to regain the lead as runners occupied first and second with one out, but for the second inning in a row SJU could not capitalize as a double play ball ended the threat.
However, SJU entered play outscoring its opposition 30-13 in the ninth inning, and the Hawks came through once again in their final at bat to secure the win. Dominic Favazza improved to 2-5, throwing an inning and two thirds of scoreless ball to hold off the Colonials. Marshall Seedorff took the loss to fall to 0-1.
The teams will return to Campbell's Field for a 3:30 contest on Friday. Prior to the game, SJU will honor its nine graduating seniors for their dedication to the program over the last four years.