May 2, 2008
KINGSTON, R.I. - Despite coming back from a 6-0 second-inning deficit to tie the game, the Saint Joseph's baseball team fell to Rhode Island on Friday afternoon by a 9-8 score. Junior right fielder Ben Wendle had three hits, including a home run, and four RBIs in the defeat.
Rhode Island (23-22-1, 10-8-1 Atlantic 10) scored six unearned runs in the second inning against SJU starter Randy Mower. With two outs and runners on first and second, an error allowed a run to score before four more hits brought home five more Rams.
Saint Joseph's (15-27, 7-12 Atlantic 10) responded in the top of the third to cut the deficit to two. After a walk, a single, and a wild pitch, SJU had runners on second and third with one out. Jeremy Jakubowski drew a walk to load the bases, and two batters later Wendle singled through the right side to score two runs. After a walk by Chris Hildreth re-loaded the bases, Ryan McDonald hit a single of his own to score two more runs and make it a 6-4 game.
A single by URI catcher Zach Zaneski in the bottom of the third and a solo home run by third baseman Shaun Hagey in the fourth doubled the Ram lead to four, 8-4.
The Hawks had another big inning in the top of the fifth. Jakubowski led off the inning with a single and advanced to second when David Valesente was hit by a pitch. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Wendle drove in his third run of the game with a double to right field that brought home Jakubowski. Two batters later, McDonald singled again to bring Valesente across. After a pop out, Joe Cook singled to load the bases for the hot-hitting Mike Coleman, who reached on an error by first baseman Mike O'Malley. Wendle crossed the plate with an unearned run to close the deficit to one.
Wendle came to the plate again with two out in the top of the sixth and capped his stellar afternoon by tying the game with a home run to left field, his third of the season.
Unfortunately for Saint Joseph's, the Rams tallied a run on a two-out pinch-hit single by Pete Mastors to take the lead for good as the Hawks were not able to mount a threat in the final three frames.
Luke Demko earned the win in relief for Rhode Island and improves to 2-1 on the year. Mark Dolaghan took the loss to fall to 0-3. URI's Tim Boyce notched his third save of the year, working the final two innings.
The teams return to action Saturday afternoon at Bill Beck Field. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.