April 16, 2011
KINGSTON, R.I. - For the second day in a row, the Saint Joseph's baseball team scored four late runs. Unfortunately for the Hawks, it wasn't enough on Saturday afternoon as Rhode Island hung on for the 8-6 win at Bill Beck Field.
The Hawks trailed by six, 8-2, going into the top of the ninth, but rallied for four runs and put two on with two out before Dan Johnson shut the door for the Rams.
Rhode Island (19-14, 6-5 Atlantic 10) got on the board first, scoring a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the second.
With two outs in the third, three straight singles, capped off by an RBI hit by Greg Kumpel, allowed Saint Joseph's (13-21, 4-7 Atlantic 10) to cut the deficit to 2-1.
URI benefitted from three hits in the fourth to tack on two more, opening up a three-run lead. The advantage swelled to five, 6-1, in the fifth before SJU scored again on an RBI single by Kevin Taylor in the sixth.
The Rams scored what proved to be a pair of critical insurance runs in the home half of the seventh on sacrifice flies by Tom Coulombe and Kyle Borden.
In the ninth, after two quick outs, the ever-say-die Hawks went to work, as pinch-runner Tim Craig scored on a throwing error to cut the lead to five. Anthony Cirillo followed with an RBI single before Kevin Kratochwill ripped a ball through the left side two batters later to plate two more and make it an 8-6 game with runners on first and second. Johnson then worked a full count on Kumpel before retiring him on strikes to end the game.
Johnson notched his fourth save of the season, preserving the win for Ken Graveline (4-3). Graveline allowed two runs on seven hits, helping his own cause with 12 strikeouts, the most by a Hawk opponent this season.
Chad Simendinger (2-4) took the loss for Saint Joseph's, working five innings and allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits and one walk while fanning four.
Kratochwill, Kumpel, and Brett Tiagwad each had a pair of hits for SJU, while six different Hawks each scored a run in the game.
The rubber game of the series is set for noon on Sunday.