CALOIERO'S WALK-OFF HOMER LIFTS SJU OVER XAVIER IN SERIES OPENER
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (04/07/01) - St. Joseph's (9-14-1) resumed Atlantic 10 baseball action on Saturday, by splitting a double-header with Xavier at Elmwood Park's Latshaw-McCarthy Field. In game one, Rich Caloiero (Hummesltown, Pa./Hershey) crushed a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift SJU to victory, 5-4. In the second game, however, Xavier (12-21) used a 7 run fourth inning to walk away with a 10-3 win. Caloiero's home run, his second of the year, lifted the Hawks to victory, but it was the one-two punch of Kevin Kirkby and Mike DeVincentis who gave SJU life with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Trailing 4-3 with two down, Kirkby stroked a double to the wall in left centerfield. Then trailing in the count 0-2, DeVincentis slapped single just over the head of the first baseman down the rightfield line which scored Kirkby and forced extra innings. Both teams' starting pitchers threw brilliantly. Senior Jim Boylan tossed 8.2 innings, allowing just three earned runs and striking out five for the Hawks, mowing down eight straight Musketeers late in the game. XU starter Jeff Barger was equally impressive pitching 8.0 innings and earning the complete game. John Kokol, who came in with two outs and the score tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth, faced only one batter and earned the win to improve to 2-0. Barger suffered the loss and fell to 3-5. Caloiero and DeVincentis each had two hits apiece for the Crimson and Gray, as did senior Tom Gibson. In game two, XU jumped out to a 10-0 lead and then coasted to the 10-3 victory. A seven-run fourth inning proved to be the demise for SJU. Freshman Eric Vardijan started the game for the Hawks but left the game after throwing just 3.1 innings and surrendering -more- six runs on five hits. He was replaced by junior Mike Minerva, who ran into trouble giving up four hits and four runs. Freshman Scott Gehringer pitched the final 3.2 innings and kept Xavier in check. All of the Hawk offense came in the bottom of the fourth inning, as the Crimson and Gray plated three runs. SJU opened the inning with four straight hits and left the bases loaded in the frame. Offensive highlights for the Hawks included a 4-4 performance by Jim Reilly and Eric Wyatt, who upped his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. SJU concludes a three-game A-10 Conference series on Sunday, against Xavier at Latshaw-McCarthy Field at noon. The Hawks travel to Rider on Tuesday.