May 20, 2006
PHILADELPHIA - Freshman Ben Wendle hit a pinch-hit three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the game for Saint Joseph's (17-39, 9-18 A-10), but Xavier (19-37, 9-18 A-10) rallied with five runs in the top of the eleventh to pick up a 10-5 win in Atlantic 10 baseball at Latshaw-McCarthy Field. Senior catcher Greg Mason went 3-5 with a couple of RBIs in his final collegiate game for SJU.
Behind a strong pitching performance by Dan Graham (7.0 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs) the Musketeers built a 5-0 through seven and a half innings. St. Joe's, however, erupted for five runs with two outs in the bottom of the eighth off XU reliever Steve Sakosits to tie the contest. With one away, Sakosits issued consecutive walks to juniors Adriano Petrutz and Mike Gentile. He then got an infield pop up for out number two. Mason followed with a two-run double to leftfield to get the Hawks on the scoreboard. Classmate Dustin Onulak then singled back up the middle to put runners on the corners. Head coach Shawn Pender proceeded to send the left-handed hitting Wendle up to pinch hit. He turned on a pitch and cracked a linedrive home run over the wall in right field to tie the game at 5-5. The home run ended Sakosits afternoon, but the Hawks would manage to get the lead run to second base against Xavier's third pitcher Brett Greenwell after Chris Cashman singled and advanced on a wild pitch, but SJU coulden't drive him home.
Jeff Williams, who entered the game in relief in the eighth inning would hold Xavier scoreless through the tenth inning, when the Hawks threatened again. With one away, Mason doubled again and Onulak was intentionally walked. Pat Santry flew to short centerfield and Cashman's linedrive was speared out the air by the second baseman to end the threat.
Things came unraveled for SJU in the eleventh as Xavier send 11 men to the plate scoring five times off Williams to take control of the game. Williams struckout the first batter he faced, but three straight singles loaded the bases. Williams then hit the Musketeers Adam Lipski with a breaking ball on the leg to force in the lead run. The SJU bench erupted as it was the third straight at bat Lipski had been hit by a pitch and the Hawks protested that he had not made an effort to avoid the pitch. Williams still had a chance to get out of the inning after inducing a pop-up for out number two, but XU's Jordan Wolf cleared the bases on a single to left field that was misplayed. Xavier would add one more run to close out the scoring and take the victory 10-5.
Greenwell (5-2) earned the win in relief tossing 2.1 innings of scoreless three-hit ball. XU's Charlie Leesman pitched a scoreless eleventh inning to close it out. Williams (2-7) suffered the loss allowing five runs on six hits in three iniings. He was the fourth of five SJU pitchers, including starter Chris Prescott who pitched 4.2 innings, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts.
Xavier had built the lead to 5-0 with two runs each in the second and fifth innings and a single tally in the eighth.