April 5, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team split an impromptu doubleheader on Saturday at La Salle's Hank DeVincent Field. The Hawks lost to Fordham in game on, 9-2. However, a three-run seventh inning propelled SJU to a 6-4 win over the Rams in the nightcap.
The teams were originally slated to play a single game on Saturday, but clear skies and the threat of rain on Sunday led to the twinbill being played today.
In game one, Fordham (15-12, 3-5 Atlantic 10) scored six runs in the final three innings to put away the Hawks, 9-2. Ram starter Tom Davis (3-2) pitched eight strong innings for the win, while SJU freshman Dominic Favazza was solid in the loss, ceding just two earned runs. Favazza falls to 1-3 on the year.
The final score was not indicative of the game, as Saint Joseph's (10-19, 3-5 Atlantic 10) was within striking distance until the late innings. With Fordham leading 2-0 in the fourth, the Hawks got on the board on an RBI single by Matt Barnathan. However, one in the sixth, three in the seventh, two in the eighth, and one in the ninth put Fordham up 9-1.
SJU started the ninth off with thoughts of a rally, as the Hawks loaded the bases with nobody out. An RBI single by Mike Coleman made the score 9-2, but a strikeout, a fly out, and a groundout finished off the Hawks.
After leaving three runners on over the first five innings, nine runners stranded over the final four frames effectively sealed SJU's fate.
The Hawks were much more effective at bringing runners home in key spots in game two as senior Chris Hildreth drove in what turned out to be the winning run with a single in the seventh as SJU earned a 6-4 victory. The win is the 10th of the year for Saint Joseph's, which ties last year's win total with 23 games left in the season.
Sophomore Randy Mower went seven innings, giving up four runs, to earn his fourth win of the season. He led the pitching staff last season with three. Fordham's J.P. Mack took the loss, while Chris Prescott notched his second save of the season for the Hawks.
Brian Hartsell started things off with a bang for SJU, hitting his first career home run over the right field fence in the bottom of the first.
The Hawks posted single runs in the fourth and fifth innings to expand the lead. Coleman's RBI double in the fourth scored David Valesente to double SJU's lead. In the fifth, Ken Pustizzi's RBI groundout put the Hawks up three.
Mower cruised through the first five, allowing just two hits and retiring 11 batters in a row, before the Rams got to him in the sixth. Fordham scored four runs on five singles to go ahead, 4-3. After SJU went down quietly in the sixth, Mower righted the ship to send the Rams down in order in the seventh.
In the bottom of the frame, the Hawks got some clutch hitting to take the lead for good. With two outs and runners on first and second, Pustizzi hit a single to center to bring Jeremy Jakubowski around with the tying run. Hildreth's single through the right side plated Ben Wendle with what turned out to be the winning run. Valesente added an insurance run with an RBI single of his own to score Pustizzi and set the final margin at 6-4.
Prescott relieved Mower and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth for the save.
The teams will play the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday afternoon at Latshaw-McCarthy field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.