March 20, 2012
MERION STATION, Pa. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team suffered a 6-3 defeat on Tuesday afternoon to the visiting Lehigh Mountain Hawks. In the contest, junior Anthony Cirillo hit his first career home run, a solo shot to left in the bottom of the ninth.
Lehigh (5-13-1) scored in the top of the first, scratching out a run when leadoff hitter Brendan McGaheran walked, stole second, advanced on a wild pitch, and then scored after a groundout.
Saint Joseph's (4-16) equalized in the bottom of the fourth as Cirillo hit a single to right center to plate Chris Hueth, who had been hit by a pitch earlier in the inning.
Lehigh tied it up in the sixth, however, when Casey Turner singled in Joe Abeln to knot the contest at two apiece.
The Mountain Hawks posted a three-spot in the top of the eighth as Casey Turner's two-run double and Brandon Sady's two-out single gave Lehigh a 5-2 lead. The margin stretched to four at 6-2 after Abeln singled home McGaheran in the top of the ninth.
Cirillo set the final margin with one out in the ninth with his first collegiate round-tripper. The junior shortstop led the SJU offense on the day, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI.
Jordan Smith notched the win for Lehigh, improving to 2-1 this season, while Jimmy Yacabonis took the loss for the Hawks, falling to 0-2 on the year. Freshman Tim Ponto started for Saint Joseph's and allowed one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five in four innings.
The Hawks will prepare for the first weekend series at their new ballpark as Bucknell comes to town for a four-game set. The Hawks and Bison will face off on Friday at 3:00 p.m. before playing a doubleheader on Saturday at noon. The series will conclude with a noon game on Sunday.