HAWK SENIORS GO OUT WITH A BANG IN 25-7 WIN OVER URI
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications
NORRISTOWN, PA (05/13/01) - St. Joseph's (23-27-1, 10-12 A-10) erupted for 25 runs and 26 hits, both school records, as the Hawks sent off its senior class with a 25-7 win over Rhode Island (27-23, 10-12 A-10) in the final game of the regular season. The game served as a worthy ending for the SJU class of 2001, which will go down as one of the most prolific offensively in school history. Game highlights included a record tying 8 RBI by Mike DeVincentis and the 200th hit of Tom Gibson's career. Things did not begin well for SJU, which had dropped the previous two games to URI, as the team fell behind 4-0 after the first two innings. A five-run fourth inning, however, served as a prelude of things to come and pushed SJU into the lead, 5-4. A two-run home run by Tim Gunn got the comeback underway, squeaking a roundtripper just inside the foul pole in rightfield. The homer was the 20th of Gunn's career making him only the second Hawk ever to hit 20. Tha Hawks would proceed to tack on three more runs in the inning with the help of an RBI double by Eric Wyatt and a two-run single by DeVincentis. The Rams would regain the lead briefly in the top of the fifth inning when they scored two more runs off SJU starter Jim Boylan to make it a 7-6 game. The rest of the day, however belonged to the Hawks. The Crimson and Gray erupted for 7 runs in the fifth, 7 runs in the seventh and 6 runs in the eighth to make it a laugher. As the game progressed only DeVincentis' quest for 8 RBI and Gibson's search for 200 hits were in doubt and both collected the numbers in an appropriately scripted eighth inning. Knowing the tandem needed another at bat each in what would be the team's final time at the plate the Hawk assembly line manufactured base runner after base runner so that the lineup would cycle back to the top. Then Gibson, Kevin Kirkby, DeVincentis, Jim Reilly and Gunn proceeded to connect on five straight hits that would serve as a perfect ending to standout careers. Wyatt was the only senior shutout at the plate in the final inning. Gibson concluded his career with hits in his final two at bats to reach 200, while DeVincentis, SJU's career leader in two-baggers, tagged a two-run double in his final plate appearance to get RBI 7 and 8. The Hawk seniors went out in grand style. Wyatt was 3-6, Gibson 3-6, DeVincentis 4-6, Reilly 4-7 and Gunn 3-5. Suprisingly, only Kirkby, who came into the game with a chance to hit .400 for the season, was held to a single hit going 1-3. The consumate hitter, he walked three times. Boylan, who tossed 8.0 innings, earned the win in his 72nd and final appearance as a Hawk to improve to 5-6 on the year. The 72 appearances are the second-most in school history. He finished his career with 13 wins and 5 saves to rank among SJU's top 10 in both categories. Don Peterson tossed a scoreless ninth in his final game as well. In all the Hawks saluted 11 seniors in pregame ceremonies. In addition to the aforementioned Boylan, DeVincentis, Gibson, Gunn, Kirkby, Peterson, Reilly and Wyatt, senior pitchers Doug Sieger, Dan Lester and Ryan Woods also wore the Crimson and Gray for the final time. Pace Bradshaw, a senior who recently was granted a fifth-year of elegibility by the NCAA, started the game at shortstop taking the field for the final time alongside Gibson, Kirkby and Gunn. That quartet composed the Hawk infield for three straight seasons. Bradshaw, who has been hobbled by a hamstring injury, was then lifted after one pitch.