NORRISTOWN, Pa. (04/08/01) - The St. Joseph's University baseball team (10-14-1, 3-3 A-10) rallied for six runs in the seventh and eighth innings to down Xavier (12-22, 1-5 A-10), 6-5, in Atlantic 10 baseball action at Elmwood Park. Senior Kevin Kirkby powered the Hawks going 3-3 with 2 RBI and earned his first career victory in relief. The Hawks trailed in the game 3-0 and had been held to just three hits by Xavier starter Greg Wigger, when the bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Rich Caloiero got the rally started with a walk. He then went from first to third on a single by Eric Wyatt. Wyatt, however, was cut down trying to make it to second base. Justin Godusky then doubled off Wiggers, who crumpled to the ground in pain after the pitch and was forced to leave the game with back spasams. Caloiero scored on the play. Kirkby then greeted the new pitcher Jarret Sues with a single to centerfield that plated Godusky. Following a deep flyout by Mike DeVincentis, Jim Reilly singled to put runners at the corners. Finally Tim Gunn capped the SJU comeback by slapping a two-strike double down the line, driving in Kirkby and Reilly to put the Crimson and Gray in front 4-3. In the top of the eighth, Xavier battled back to tie the game at four apiece on a pair of singles and a double. The late charge by XU ended a strong day on the hill by Wyatt, who pitched 7.1 innings, allowing only three earned runs and strikingout seven. He was replaced by John Kokol, who walked the only batter he faced to load the bases. SJU then went to its stopper Kirkby to bail them out of a jam. He coaxed the first batter he faced to hit a hard chopper to Tom Gibson at third base, who fired the ball home to force the lead runner at the plate. He then got the next batter to bounce a ball right back to him, firing over to first to end the inning. The Crimson and Gray regained the advantage for good in the bottom of the eighth, tacking on two more runs. With Gibson aboard and two out, Godusky was hit by a pitch. Back-to-back RBI singles by Kirkby and DeVincentis then provided the Hawks with the insurance runs they needed, Kirkby tossed the ninth inning, allowing a pair of doubles, but coming away with the win his first as a collegian. In addition to Kirkby's big game, Godusky smacked three hits and scored a pair of runs and Gunn collected a pair of RBI. Wyatt meanwhile extended his team-high hitting streak to a career-best 14 games. The week ahead has the Hawks playing single games on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Tuesday, SJU visits Rider, while Gwynedd Mercy and Bloomfield College travel to Norristown later in the week.
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