April 14, 2010
NEWARK, Del. - For the second day in a row, the Saint Joseph's baseball team fell to a local rival on a walk-off single, dropping Wednesday's contest at Delaware, 9-8. UD's D.J. Long hit a bases-loaded single with one out in the bottom of the ninth to give the Blue Hens the win. Seniors Dewey Oriente and David Valesente hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning to help fuel the Hawk offense.
With the game tied at eight, Hank Yates led off the bottom of the ninth with a single to right. Freshman Kevin Burum then issued a walk to Chris Branigan before he was lifted for Mike Boyland. Aaron Mascoe then beat out a bunt to load the bases. Boyland was able to get Carlos Alonso to pop out, but Long came through with a single to center to score Yates with the winning run.
The Hawks extended their lead in the fifth. With two outs, Brett Tiagwad (Mount Laurel, N.J./St. Joseph's Prep) reached on a bunt single before Oriente and Valesente made their presence felt with a pair of longballs to put SJU on top, 4-0.
Delaware (16-14) would break through for a single run in the bottom of the frame. Alonso drew a two-out walk from Matt Barnathan and scored when the next batter, Long, reached on an error by Mike Coleman. Long made it to third on a wild pitch before Barnathan got Ryan Cuneo to ground out to end the inning.
SJU had an opportunity to blow the game open in the top of the sixth, loading the bases with nobody out, but after a single by Drew Smith scored Ryan McDonald and a Coleman sacrifice fly scored Cook, reliever Matt Harden was able to induce Tiagwad to hit into a double play to quell the threat and keep the Blue Hens within five at 6-1.
UD exploded for five two-out runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to knot the game at six. After Josh Dean was hit by a pitch and Yates ripped a double down the left field line, Branigan went deep to cut the deficit to two. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for Cuneo, who then singled to left scored two to tie the game.
Pinch hitter Brian Hartsell put Saint Joseph's right back on top in the top of the seventh. After Oriente led off with a walk, Hartsell stepped in for Taylor and doubled to left, scoring Oriente and giving SJU a 7-6 lead. Two batters later, Cook laced a single to left to bring home Hartsell and double the lead.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, the Blue Hens would equalize again in the bottom of the frame on an RBI single by Branigan and an error by Cook.
Delaware would then go on to win in the bottom of the ninth on Long's single.
Sophomore A.J. Holland got the starting nod for the Hawks and gave up just three hits in four innings. He struck out three and walked just one.
SJU resumes conference play this weekend with a series at St. Bonaventure. The Hawks currently sit at 6-3 in the league, one game behind the leaders and tied for third place.