April 2, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - A three-run ninth inning home run snapped a tie game and propelled La Salle (9-16, 4-2 A-10) to a 9-6 victory over Saint Joseph's (11-20, 3-3 A-10) in Atlantic 10 baseball on Hank DeVincent Field. SJU led 6-4 enter ing teh eight inning, but the Explorers scored five time in the final two frames to win the rubber-game of the three-game set. Freshman Ben Wendle homered for the Hawks and scored three runs.
La Salle's John Rickards was a thorn in the Hawks' side all afternoon homering three times. He hit solo home runs in the fourth and eighth innings, but it was his three-run shot in the ninth off Hawk reliever Mark Imbo that was the difference in the game.
Saint Joseph's jumped out to an early lead by using small ball and benefiting from a pair of La Salle errors to open the scoring in the third. Ben Wendle was hit by a pitch to start the inning and moved to second on a hit-and-run single by Mike Blahusch. Chris Cashman moved the pair over a base with a sacrifice bunt and each scored on the Explorers' first error of the inning on Tim Smith's groundball. Dustin Onulak singled to put runners at the corners before another La Salle miscue plated another Hawk run. Mike Godusky singled to drive in the fourth run of the inning, which gave the Hawks a 4-0 lead.
La Salle answered back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the inning.
Wendle hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth inning, pushing the Hawk lead to 5-2, but the Explorers answered right back with two more in the bottom of the fourth.
After loading the bases with just one out in the sixth, the Hawks looked as if they would break the game wide open. They plated a run when Smith drew a walk to score Wendle, but La Salle's Hank Reifsnyder came in for relief and forced Onulak into a double play to end the threat.
The Explorers tied the score in the bottom of the eighth inning on back-to-back solo home runs by Rickards and George Hudock. The Rickards' shot chased Hawk starter Jason Hessler, and Hudock hit his off Imbo.
Gerard Breslin, who won his second game of the season, allowed just one hit in the top of the ninth inning to keep the score knotted at six before the heroics of Rickards in the bottom of the frame.