March 27, 2010
CAMDEN, N.J. - One game featured offense while the other was dominated by pitching, but both saw Hawk victories as the Saint Joseph's baseball team swept Massachusetts in a doubleheader on Saturday at Campbell's Field. A three-run eighth inning propelled SJU to a 9-6 win in the opener, while a two-out wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth of the nightcap brought across the only run in a 1-0 triumph. The Hawks have now won four straight games and are 5-2 at home this season.
In the first game, two big innings made the difference as the Hawks emerged victorious, winning their conference opener for the second year in a row, 9-6.
Massachusetts (1-11 overall, 0-2 Atlantic 10) got on the board first when Peter Copa hit a two-run home run down the left field line to give the Minutemen a 2-0 lead.
It would be their only lead all day, however, and it would be short-lived. Saint Joseph's (6-10 overall, 2-0 Atlantic 10) answered in the bottom half of the frame, loading the bases with one out for Quinn Renner, who laced a single to left to score a pair and knot the game, advancing to second on the throw. The next batter, Brett Tiagwad, ripped a single up the middle to score Renner and Ryan Kemp and put SJU on top, 4-2.
UMass got one back in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Brian Baudinet, but the Hawks responded with a single from Valesente to push the margin back to three, 6-3.
The Minutemen scored one in the sixth on a single by Tom Conley before Copa, who entered the game with a .225 batting average, hit his second two-run home run of the game off of Adam Rivera in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game.
The Hawks wasted no time taking back the lead. With two on and one out, pinch hitter Brian Hartsell hit a single to right field to score Tiagwad with the go-ahead run. Back-to-back singles by Oriente and Valesente pushed the lead to three.
Mike Boyland retired the Minutemen in order in the ninth for his first save.
Rivera got the win, improving to 1-1 on the year. Charlie Benson was saddled with the loss in his first decision of the season.
Game two was a pitcher's duel but, in the end, a mistake by UMass pitcher Nick Serino led to the only run of the game in SJU's 1-0 win.
With runners on first and second with one out, Hartsell pinch hit once again., this time lifting a fly ball to left center that allowed Joe Cook, who had reached on a bunt single, to tag up and go to third. With Oriente at the plate and two out, Serino uncorked a wild pitch that bounced over the head of catcher Corey Volpicelli. Cook scampered home with what would end up being the winning run.
Serino pitched well in defeat, allowing just three hits and striking out 13 against five walks. Randy Mower got the start and went six strong innings, scattering four hits and allowing two walks while striking out five. Bryan Penalo an inning and a third before giving way to Quentin Farr in the eighth. Farr recorded the last five outs of the game, including striking out the side in the ninth, to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Sophomore Kevin Taylor notched a first-inning hit in game one, but went hitless in the nightcap to end his team-best hitting streak at 12 games.
The Hawks and Minutemen will close out the series Sunday afternoon at Campbell's Field. First pitch is set for noon.