May 19, 2012
CINCINNATI - The Saint Joseph's baseball team took an early lead, but a four-run seventh inning and a run in the ninth gave Xavier a 5-4 win on Saturday afternoon in the teams' regular season finale at Hayden Field. SJU now turns its attention to the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship, where the sixth-seeded Hawks will begin play on Wednesday afternoon.
Saint Joseph's (23-30 overall, 13-10 Atlantic 10) struck in the first inning for the third consecutive game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI single by Kevin Taylor that scored Ryan Pater, who led off the game with a walk.
The Hawks scored again in the fourth as Stefan Kancylarz led off with a single and came in to score two batters later on a double by Eddie Palmer. SJU proceeded to load the bases with nobody out, but a fielder's choice, a foul pop up, and a fly out allowed Xavier starter Scott Klever to escape the inning with just the one run allowed.
Palmer scored the Hawks' third run in the sixth, coming in on an error by left fielder Daniel Rod after Pater's one-out single, to give SJU a 3-0 lead.
Xavier (28-28 overall, 13-11 Atlantic 10) finally broke through in the seventh, scoring four times to take the lead. A bunt single by Selby Chidemo left the bases loaded with nobody out for Patrick Paligraf, who lofted a sacrifice fly for he Musketeers' first run. Mark Elwell followed with an RBI single to cut it to 3-2 before Derek Hasenbeck singled two batters later to give XU its first lead of the day.
The Hawks battled back in the ninth, however, as Taylor ripped a one-out double to right and was replaced on the basepaths by Brett Tiagwad. After a Brian O'Keefe single put runners on the corners, Kancylarz hit into a fielder's choice that allowed Tiagwad to score the tying run.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, Xavier benefited from a pair of Hawk errors in the bottom of the ninth that allowed pinch runner Jacob Bodner to score the winning run.
Seth Willoughby earned the win for Xavier, allowing one run on three hits in three and two-thirds innings of relief. Alex Pracher fell to 4-9 on the year, allowing one run and two hits in an inning-plus in relief.
Taylor finished the day 3-for-5 with a run batted in to pace the Hawk offense.
Saint Joseph's will now head to the Bronx for the 2012 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship. The Hawks, playing in the tournament for the first time, will begin play on Wednesday, May 23, against third-seeded Rhode Island. First pitch is tentatively set for 3:30 p.m. at Fordham's Houlihan Park.