May 11, 2007
NORRISTOWN, PA - Senior first baseman Mike Gentile had three hits and three RBIs as the Saint Joseph's Hawks cam from behind to defeat the Richmond Spiders, 9-7, in Atlantic 10 baseball action on Friday afternoon. The Hawks trailed by four runs in the seventh inning, but timely hitting allowed the Hawks to score four runs in the seventh and two in the eight to pull out the victory. It is the third straight win for the Hawks, matching their longest winning streak since March of 2006.
Richmond (28-23, 16-6 Atlantic 10) got on the board in the first inning after a leadoff triple by second baseman Benji Marshall and an RBI groundout by catcher Hank Coogan gave the Spiders a 1-0 lead.
Saint Joseph's (10-34, 6-16 Atlantic 10) knotted the score in the second after senior Matt Godusky drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw by Richmond pitcher Alex Hale. Gentile brought Godusky home with an RBI groundout to short. Coogan's second RBI groundout gave the Spiders a 2-1 lead in the top of the third, but that margin was short-lived as SJU scored two on a single by sophomore outfielder Ben Wendle with nobody out in the bottom half of the frame. The Hawks then loaded the bases with two down but could not capitalize, leaving the score 3-2 after three.
Richmond came back in the top of the fourth to score two runs of their own. SJU senior starter Jeff Williams retired the first two hitters with relative ease, but the Spiders loaded the bases for Marshall, who brought home two runs with a single up the middle. The Spiders threatened to score again in the fifth, but a diving stop by Gentile prevented a run from scoring, holding the deficit at a single run.
UR's Joe Mahoney hit a titanic three-run home run to right field in the top of the sixth to extend the Richmond lead to 7-3. The home run marked his Atlantic 10-leading 16th of the season.
The Hawks tied the game in the bottom of the seventh after freshman catcher Drew Smith led off with a triple and came home two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Gentile. With two outs, junior shortstop Chris Cashman bunted for a single to load the bases. Junior centerfielder Jeremy Jakubowski then ripped a single up the middle off of Richmond closer Brian Alas to cut the lead to 7-6. With runners on first and third, freshman second baseman David Valesente singled to score Cashman and tie the game.
SJU took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning. Drew Smith led off with a single before being replaced by pinch runner Tim Smith. Godusky sacrificed him to second before Gentile's bloop single to left brought the run across. Gentile then stole second and scored on a double down the left field line by junior Chris Hildreth to give the Hawks a 9-7 lead.
Junior Andrew Powers pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory, his first of the season. Richmond's Brian Alas notched a blown save and took the loss to fall to 3-2.
The series continues on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Latshaw-McCarthy Field.