Early Runs Hold Up as Baseball Defeats Delaware, 6-4
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  04/08/2009

April 8, 2009

Box Score

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - Five Saint Joseph's pitchers made six early runs stand up as the Hawk baseball team held on for a 6-4 win over Delaware on Wednesday at Latshaw-McCarthy Field. It marks the first time SJU has beaten the Blue Hens since April, 2003.

Saint Joseph's (11-16-1) took a quick lead, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Mike Plakis led off with a strikeout, but reached first anyway when Chris Nehl was charged with a passed ball. Plakis stole second and came around to score when Mike Blahusch drilled a double to the fence in left center. Blahusch moved up to third on a single by Drew Smith and scored on a single by Ryan McDonald to give the Hawks an early 2-0 cushion.

Delaware (19-11) scored a run in the top of the second as Bill Merkler took Chris Prescott's first pitch deep over the left field fence to cut the SJU lead in half.

The Hawks bounced back in the bottom of the frame, however, putting another crooked number on the board. With one out, Brett Tiagwad and Plakis drew walks to put runners on first and second. Blahusch singled to bring in Tiagwad before Dewey Oriente followed with a single of his own to score Plakis and extend the lead to 4-1. After another single by Smith loaded the bases, McDonald hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Blahusch and push the lead to four.

SJU went up five in the third inning when Blahusch got his third hit of the game, a single to right center that scored Tiagwad from second. It was Blahusch's third RBI of the game; he would finish 3-for-5 with three runs batted in and two runs scored.

The Blue Hens would not go quietly, however. In the top of the sixth, Carlos Alonso led off with a single before Ryan Cuneo hit his second home run in as many days to get UD within three. After a walk to Nehl, Merkler hit into a double play for the first two outs of the inning. An infield single and a hit batsman later, Scott Shockley hit a single up the middle to cut the margin to two at 6-4.

Delaware would not get any closer as Matt Barnathan and Chris Hildreth held UD to four baserunners over the final three innings to preserve the victory.

Prescott earned to win to improve to 1-2. Sam Cerbo gave up five runs in just an inning and a third to take the loss and fall to 1-1 for the Blue Hens. Hildreth earned his fourth save of the season, closing the door with two scoreless innings.

The Hawks will host city rival Temple for a critical three-game conference set on Friday and Saturday. Due to impending weather conditions, the series with the first-place Owls has been moved to La Salle's Hank DeVincent Field and the schedule of games has been changed. The Hawks and Owls will play two games on Friday, with the first one set to begin at 11:00 a.m. Then, weather permitting, the teams will conclude the series Saturday afternoon. Live stats will be available for any and all games played in the series.