April 2, 2010
CAMDEN, N.J. - It wasn't easy, but the Saint Joseph's baseball team held on for a 9-8 win over Saint Louis on Friday night in the rubber match of a three-game set. The Hawks improve to 4-2 in conference play, their best Atlantic 10 start in 10 years.
Saint Joseph's (8-13 overall, 4-2 Atlantic 10) got on the board in each of the first four frames to take control early. In the first, an RBI groundout by David Valesente plated Brett Tiagwad to give SJU a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks added five more in the second as they sent 10 batters to the plate and chased starter Jerry Mancuso after an inning and two-thirds. Quinn Renner tripled in a pair and came around to score on a double by Mike Coleman. He would score on a fielding error that allowed Tiagwad to reach, and the sophomore eventually came across on a groundout by Dewey Oriente.
Saint Louis (15-14 overall, 3-3 Atlantic 10) scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the third to cut the margin to four, but SJU plated a singleton in the bottom half when Renner hit his first career home run, a long blast over the left field wall.
SLU got one back in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Andrew Guerra but the Hawks responded with two more in the bottom half to build a six-run cushion. Valesente crushed a triple to right center to score Tiagwad and then came in on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Taylor.
Things would tighten up in the seventh and eighth as the Billikens scored five times to get within a single run. With two on and one out in the eighth, Danny Brock launched his 11th home run of the season to left field to bring SLU within one, 9-8. However, Mike Boyland came in to get the Hawks out of the jam. He then retired the side in the top of the ninth, striking out Lucas Calderon to end it.
Randy Mower pitched five-plus innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on seven hits to earn his first win of the season. Mancuso was tagged with the loss after surrendering six runs and seven hits while retiring just five hitters. Boyland earned his second save of the season, striking out three of the four hitters he faced.
The Hawks return to Campbell's Field on Tuesday night for a 7:00 p.m. contest with Lafayette. Live stats and streaming audio will be available at www.sjuhawks.com.