March 14, 2009
NORRISTOWN, Pa. - The Hawks and Jaspers set the scoreboard ablaze on Saturday afternoon, combining for 33 runs and 39 hits, but in the end Manhattan emerged victorious over Saint Joseph's, 19-14, in non-conference baseball action at Latshaw-McCarthy Field.
Saint Joseph's (3-9) put a crooked number on the board in the first inning for the fourth straight game, staking starter Dominic Favazza to a 3-0 lead early on. After a hit batter, a walk, a ground out and another hit batter, Drew Smith drew a bases loaded walk to bring home the first run of the game. Manhattan starter Zac Goyer then departed in favor of southpaw Matt Jordan, who notched a strikeout before giving up a two-run single to Mike Blahusch. The hit was the 100th of Blahusch's career. He is the 49th player in SJU history to reach that milestone.
Manhattan (5-5) got on the board in the top of the third when Kevin Nieto hit a line drive solo home run to left. Then with the bases loaded and one out, SJU left fielder Brett Tiagwad attempted a diving catch but injured himself on the play. Two runs scored on the play, and Tiagwad left the game, favoring his right shoulder as he walked off the field. The Jaspers got two more runs in the inning on a single by Austin Sheffield to take a 5-3 lead.
David Valesente tied the game right back up in the bottom of the frame with a two-run home run to left, his second in as many days.
The Jaspers jumped back ahead on a two-run home run to right by designated hitter Anthony Armenio in the top of the fifth. SJU got one back in the bottom of that inning on an RBI single by Dewey Oriente. Manhattan then extended the lead in the sixth after a fielding error by Blahusch allowed a run to score, and after a single and a sacrifice fly it was 10-6, Jaspers.
SJU got right back to work in the bottom of the sixth as an RBI single by Ryan McDonald extended his hitting streak to 11 games and cut the deficit to three. Two batters later, Oriente added a pair of runs to the Hawk ledger with a two-out single to center to bring SJU back to within 10-9.
Manhattan got six more in top of the seventh, scoring a run on a single before Armenio hit a double to left center to plate two more. A pair of singles pushed the margin to 15-9 before a double by Austin Sheffield scored run number 16. Third baseman Chad Salem hit a three-run bomb in the top of the eighth to extend the Jasper lead to 19-9.
A few Hawk reserves got some at bats in the ninth and they came through with five runs on five hits and a walk. Mike Gers drew a walk and advanced to third when Kevin Taylor singled. McDonald hit a two-out single two batters later to bring home Gers and put SJU in double digits. Ryan Kemp came to the plate for his first at bat of the season and wasted no time, taking the first pitch to center for an RBI single. Evan Spano then cleared the bases with a triple to left center, making the score 19-13. A single from Brian Hartsell plated Spano with what would be the final run of the game as Mike Boyland then flied out to end the late-game rally.
Favazza took the loss for SJU, falling to 0-1. Jordan (1-1) earned the win, giving up eight hits and three runs in 4.2 innings of relief.
Armenio finished the contest 4-for-5 with three runs scored and six runs batted in to lead Manhattan. Ryan Masters and Ruben Perez added four hits apiece, while Salem and Nieto each scored four times.
McDonald was 3-for-6 with a pair of runs driven in, and he and Valesente led the Hawks with three runs scored. Oriente went 2-for-4 with three RBI while Wendle was 2-for-2 with a run scored.
The Hawks will close out the weekend with a game against Niagara at noon on Sunday.