Feb. 21, 2009
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team got its 2009 season underway on Friday night with a doubleheader at San Jose State. The Hawks dropped both contests, falling 1-0 in the opener and 15-5 in game two. In game one, senior Chris Prescott threw six strong innings, but SJSU lefthander David Berner threw a three-hit complete-game shutout to neutralize the effort. In the late game, junior Matt Barnathan hit his first career home run, but the Spartan bats came to life early and often to power San Jose State past the Hawks.
In the opener, played at SJSU's Blethen Field, the Spartans got a singleton in the bottom of the second and Berner made it stand as San Jose State (2-0) took a 1-0 victory to start the season.
With two out in the top of the first, junior David Valesente cracked an infield single back to the pitcher to record SJU's first hit of the season. Unfortunately for the Hawks, he was stranded at the end of the inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, SJSU's Corey Valine reached on a one-out double. A single by Alex Sofranac put runners on the corners for Karson Klauer, who doubled down the left field line to score Valine. Prescott proceeded to strike out the next two hitters to end the threat.
Berner retired 16 straight hitters between the third and eighth innings to keep Saint Joseph's at bay. Shortstop Joe Cook broke the string with a two-out double in the eighth, but was ultimately stranded as Berner would go on to complete the shutout. He held the Hawks to three hits and struck out 10 without walking a batter.
Prescott pitched well for Saint Joseph's in his first start since 2007. He went six innings, ceding just four hits and one run, striking out four. Juniors Quentin Farr and Adam Rivera threw a perfect inning apiece.
The nightcap was not quite as friendly to Saint Joseph's (0-2) as difficulties in the field helped the Spartans to a 15-5 triumph at San Jose's Municipal Stadium.
The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the second, when the Spartans tacked a three-spot on the board. Saint Joseph's responded when Barnathan took SJSU's Scott Sobczak deep to center field to lead off the fourth. Barnathan's first career round-tripper cut the deficit to 3-1, but a double by Jason Martin plated two for the Spartans in the bottom half of the frame to push the lead to four.
San Jose State would score three runs in the fifth, three in the sixth, and four in the seventh to build a commanding 15-1 lead. In the top of the ninth, an RBI double by Mike Blahusch scored Cook to make it 15-2. Two batters later, Ryan McDonald singled in Blahusch to add another tally, and after a Mike Boyland single and a Dewey Oriente walk loaded the bases, Drew Smith singled through the left side to score the final two runs and set the final margin at 15-5.
SJU junior Randy Mower got the start in game two, going 4.2 innings and giving up eight runs on nine hits. However, just two of those runs were earned; nine of SJSU's 15 runs were unearned thanks to five Saint Joseph's fielding errors in the game. Justin Trudell gave up three runs on three hits in an inning and a third while Chris Hildreth pitched the last two frames, giving up four runs (one earned) on just one hit.
The teams will return to action for another double dip at Municipal Stadium on Saturday. First pitch in game one is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. eastern time. SJU's A.J. Holland will make his collegiate debut against SJSU's Max Peterson. In the second game, tentatively scheduled for 6:45 p.m., the Hawks will throw sophomore Dominic Favazza against Ryan Shopshire. Live stats for the contests will be available by clicking the "live" tab at SJSUSpartans.com.