Feb. 25, 2011
SAN ANTONIO, Texas - The Saint Joseph's baseball team weathered a five-run ninth inning on Friday night to hold on for the victory, defeating Texas-San Antonio, 11-10, at Wolff Stadium. Sophomore Greg Kumpel was 4-for-5 with three runs scored while sophomore Anthony Cirillo drove in five runs of his own to power the SJU offense.
Saint Joseph's (3-2) is off to its best start since 1999, when SJU went 5-0 to start the campaign.
The Hawks started the scoring with a six-run explosion in the top of the second. After the first three batters of the inning reached via a pair of singles and catcher's interference, freshman Cody Silverman singled to left to score Quinn Renner with the game's first run. Cirillo followed with a single up the middle to plate Kumpel and Joe Cook to triple the lead.
Brett Tiagwad hit a sacrifice fly to score Silverman and put the Hawks up, 4-0. Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Kevin Kratochwill then brought home Cirillo with a single to expand the lead to five. It swelled to six two batters later when a single by Mike Plakis scored Kratochwill to give the Hawks a commanding 6-0 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Riley Good in the bottom of the inning got the Roadrunners on the board, but SJU tallied three more times in the top of the fourth to widen the margin. With first and third and one out, Cook singled to left to score Plakis. Silverman reached on an error to load the bases for Cirillo, who ripped another two-run single put the Hawks on top, 9-1.
UTSA (2-3) got one back in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Daniel Rockett, but SJU tacked one on in the fifth when Kumpel's two-out double scored Kevin Taylor.
An RBI groundout by Mike Warren in the fifth cut the lead to seven; Warren would make it a 10-4 game in the seventh with another groundout.
Cirillo hit into a fielder's choice in the eighth to score Kumpel with SJU's final run.
The Roadrunners saved their best for the final two frames, getting within five on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Dalton before nearly tying the game in the ninth.
Rookie Jordan Carter struck out Casey Selsor to start the final inning before a single and a double put runners on second and third for pinch hitter Jake Wood. Wood singled to left center, scoring both runners and slicing the lead down to 11-7. A single by Good put two on with one out and chased Carter from the game.
Freshman Brett Koliani came on and gave up a double to two-run double Rockett as UTSA was back within a pair at 11-9. Koliani was able to get Tyler Carpenter to watch strike three go by for the second out before Dalton tripled to left center, pushing Rockett across and bringing the winning run to the plate.
Fortunately for the Crimson and Gray, Koliani sent Colby Braddock down on strikes to end the game and give Saint Joseph's the victory.
Koliani recorded his second save in as many games, locking down the win for Dominic Favazza (1-0). Favazza worked two innings in relief of A.J. Holland, allowing just one hit and one walk with a pair of strikeouts. Holland went four, giving up three runs on three hits. He also struck out five while handing out five bases on balls and hitting four batters.
Jordan Langley took the loss for UTSA, falling to 0-1. He ceded six runs and nine hits in two and two-thirds innings of work.
The two teams will be back in action for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. First pitch in game one is set for 3:00 p.m. Eastern.