March 25, 2012
MERION STATION, Pa. - Freshman righthander Tim Ponto went seven strong innings on Sunday and freshman Lansing Veeder was 2-for-3 with four runs batted in as the Saint Joseph's baseball team earned a series split with Bucknell by topping the Bison, 7-1.
Ponto earned his first career win, allowing just six hits in seven innings. He ceded just one run and allowed a walk while striking out three Bucknell hitters. Veeder had an RBI single in the fourth to score SJU's first run and a bases-clearing double in the seventh to blow the game open. He also finished the game on the mound, striking out two in the top of the ninth.
Saint Joseph's (6-18) ran out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. After Tommy Cunningham hit a one-out single and Brian O'Keefe doubled down the left field line, Veeder gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead with a single up the middle. Anthony Cirillo followed with an infield single that scored O'Keefe before a wild pitch put runners on second and third.
Mike Muha then hit a ball deep in the hole that Bison shortstop Robb Scott gloved but was not able to get to first in time to throw out Muha. On the play, Veeder scored from third while Cirillo made it all the way around from second and beat the throw to the plate give the Hawks a four-run lead.
Bucknell (11-10) got one back in the top of the seventh as Scott hit a sacrifice fly to right.
The Hawks widened the margin in the seventh as Kevin Kratochwill and Stefan Kancylarz hit back-to-back one-out singles before Cunningham was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Veeder ripped a bases-clearing double to left center to expand the SJU lead to 7-1, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
Each Hawk in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit in the game as Saint Joseph's tallied a dozen on the day.
The Crimson and Gray will head to Temple on Tuesday afternoon for opening round play in the 2012 Liberty Bell Classic. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. at Skip Wilson Field.