May 17, 2008
PHILADELPHIA - La Salle's Brian Meagher had a pair of game-winning hits on Saturday as the Explorers swept the Saint Joseph's baseball team in a season-ending doubleheader with a 13-12 extra-inning win in game one and a 7-6 victory in game two. Both Explorer victories came in La Salle's final turn at bat.
In an offensive explosion, the Explorers clawed back from a six-run deficit to win game one, 13-12, in 10 innings.
La Salle (18-34, 11-16 Atlantic 10) scored three runs in the bottom of the first on a three-run home run by Kevin Jones.
Saint Joseph's (18-34, 9-18 Atlantic 10) equalized in the second inning. After a one-out double by Chris Hildreth and a walk by Evan Spano, Jereme Scott ripped an RBI double down the left field line to score Hildreth. Joe Cook followed with a double to right center, scoring Spano and Scott.
Jeremy Jakubowski led off the third inning with his sixth triple of the season, coming around to score on an infield single by David Valesente, who scored himself on a double by Spano to give SJU a 5-3 lead.
That lead would be short-lived, as the Explorers put up a three-spot in the third to take the lead on a pair of singles and a squeeze bunt.
The Hawks rallied for six runs in the fourth to go up by five. After bunt singles by Cook and Mike Coleman, Brian Hartsell grounded out to second, advancing the runners. Jakubowski was intentionally walked to load the bases. Valesente then hit a ground ball to third base that was booted, allowing Cook to score and tie the game. Two batters later, Hildreth drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Coleman with the go-ahead run.
Spano then followed with a two-run single to give the Hawks a 9-6 lead. After Scott walked to re-load the bases, Cook singled to left, scoring two more runs and putting Saint Joseph's on top, 11-6. Hildreth added an RBI single in the top of the fifth to give SJU a six-run cushion.
Things would go downhill from there for the Hawks, as La Salle scored a run in the sixth on a home run by Justin Handler. The Explorers knotted the game up with five runs in the bottom of the seventh on three RBI singles, a wild pitch, and a double steal.
The game remained scoreless until the 10th inning. With one out in the bottom of the 10th, Meagher ripped a double down the left field line, scoring pinch runner Rick Gehman with the winning run.
Shane Frangiosa worked the final three innings for the Explorers to earn his first win of the season. Chris Prescott took the loss for Saint Joseph's, falling to 1-1.
In the nightcap, La Salle fought off three different SJU comebacks to win in its final at bat once again, earning a sweep of the doubleheader with a 7-6 triumph.
The Explorers once again notched three runs in the first, getting a pair of RBI singles and a steal of home plate by Justin Handler. Just like in the first game, the Hawks came back with three in second on an RBI single by Kenny Pustizzi and a two-run double by Matt Barnathan.
La Salle jumped back on top in the bottom of the third, scoring once on a pair of errors and a second time on a single through the left side by Meagher.
Saint Joseph's responded in the fourth with a pair of runs to tie the game a second time. With two men on and one out, Barnathan ripped a single to center to score Mike Boyland, who had led off the frame with a single. Three hitters later, Jakubowski drew a bases-loaded walk to score Pustizzi and knot the game at five apiece.
La Salle went back up by one in the sixth, scoring when John Rickards was hit by a pitch with two outs, stole second, and scored on a single by T.J. Chism.
The Hawks knotted the game up for a third time as Pustizzi tripled with one out in the eighth and scored on a groundout by Dewey Oriente.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, Meagher came through once again, poking a two-out single through the left side in the bottom of the ninth to score Rickards and secure the sweep for the Explorers.
Don Werner pitched eight-plus innings for Saint Joseph's, taking the loss and finishing the season at 2-7. He gave up six earned runs and struck out three. La Salle's Kevin Fuqua pitched a complete game, going the distance for his fifth victory of the year.
Saint Joseph's finishes the season with 18 victories, its highest total since the 2001 squad won 23.