April 24, 2012
MERION STATION, Pa. - After an early barrage from runs from both sides, Tuesday's baseball game between Saint Joseph's and Rider looked to be a slugfest. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, the scoring stopped and the Hawks fell to the Broncs, 7-5, on the Maguire Campus.
All 12 runs in the game were score in the first two and a half innings.
Rider (13-26) loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning, but after an RBI groundout by Adam Wayman, Jordan Carter was able to strike out Jerry Mulderig and induce a fly ball from Greg Fazio to get out of the inning.
Saint Joseph's (17-23) roared back in the home half of the first, batting around and, scoring five runs. After Kevin Taylor drew a two-out walk that advanced Brett Tiagwad to second, Tommy Cunningham ripped a double down the left field line to score Tiagwad and tie the game.
Stefan Kancylarz followed with an infield single that was then booted by Fazio at second base, allowing Cunningham to score right on the heels of Taylor to give SJU a 3-1 lead. Kancylarz then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Eric Strano to set up Chris Hueth, who doubled to right center to give the Hawks a 4-1 margin.
Eddie Palmer then strode to the plate and singled up the middle, allowing Hueth to score from second and push the Saint Joseph's advantage to 5-1.
The Broncs answered in the second, as Justin Thomas led off the frame with a rocket over the wall in left to cut the deficit to 5-2. After a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, Daniel Thorpe came on induced a fly ball from Nick Crescenzo that scored Ryan Murphy. Ian Lindsay then grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Rider went ahead to stay in the top of the third. After an error, an infield single, and a single to left loaded the bases with nobody out for the third straight inning, Mike Muha came on to relieve Thorpe. Muha struck out Thomas for the first out of the inning, but plunked Murphy to force in a run and cut the Hawk lead to 5-4. Strano then followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The Broncs then executed a double steal to score Fazio from third and put Murphy on second with two outs for Mike Parsons, who singled to right to score Murphy with what turned out to be the game's final run.
Thorpe was charged with three runs, all unearned, and took the loss to fall to 2-2. David Hafer was the winning pitcher for Rider, lasting five innings and allowing five runs on six hits and four walks while fanning four.
Cunningham was 2-for-2 on the day with a pair of doubles, a run scored, and a run driven in. He also walked twice in the game, reaching base in all four of his plate appearances in the game. Kancylarz also had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI on the day.
The Hawks will turn back to conference play on Friday as they head to St. Bonaventure. First pitch for the series opener at Fred Handler Park is scheduled for 3:00 p.m.