March 21, 2009
PHILADELPHIA - Sophomore hurler Dominic Favazza turned in his best performance as a Hawk and Mike Boyland scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning as Saint Joseph's defeated La Salle, 3-2, in the Atlantic 10 baseball opener for both squads.
La Salle (8-7, 0-1 Atlantic 10) scored both of its runs in the bottom of the first. The Explorers got one on a fielding error by Boyland and one on an RBI double by Mark Schoch.
After the first inning hiccup, Favazza went into cruise control, issuing just two singles and a walk over the next five innings.
La Salle starter Drew Gerhart then settled, retiring 13 of the next 16 hitters while issuing three walks. He ran into trouble in the eighth, however, as Matt Barnathan ripped a one-out double to left, chasing Gerhart. McDonald greeted reliever Christian Schulz with a single through the left side, putting runners on the corners for David Valesente, whose sacrifice fly to right knotted the game.
In the top of the ninth, Schulz retired the first two hitters quickly before hitting Boyland with a pitch. Joe Cook then laid down a bunt and when Schulz threw the ball away, Boyland came all the way around to score to go-ahead run as Cook was thrown out at third to end the inning.
Chris Hildreth relieved Favazza in the ninth and retired the side to earn his second save.
Favazza (1-1) earned the win, going eight innings and scattering six hits. He struck out a career high nine Explorers against three walks. Schulz fell to 1-1 with the loss.
Barnathan and McDonald each had a pair of hits for the Hawks, while Jeff Flax led the Explorers with three hits.
The two teams will return to Hank DeVincent Field on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.