Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (3/31/03) - Senior John Kokol crushed a three-run home run, and a fortunate foul ball helped the Saint Joseph's baseball team push across the eventual winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help the Hawks win the rubber game of a three-game Atlantic 10 set against Xavier, 6-5. The win, the fourth in five games, improved SJU's record to 5-14, 2-4 A-10, while XU dropped to 9-13-2, 2-4 A-10. The game was knotted at 5-5 with one out in the bottom of the seventh when senior Kevin Dougher cued a ball off the plate and down the first base line. With a tremendous amount of english, the ball started in foul territory before rolling fair in front of the first base bag. Xavier's Matt Lucas picked up the ball and tagged the bag for what appeared to be the second out of the inning. The first base umpire, however, ruled the ball foul off Dougher's foot. Given new life, Dougher jerked the next pitch down the left field line for a single. Dougher then stole second and pinch hitter Joe DiNubile walked. A wild pitch put runners at second and third. Freshman Ryan Stadanlick then sent a chopper to third base that was bobbled, allowing Dougher to race home with the lead run. The Crimson and gray took a 1-0 lead in the third when junior Jason Tarewicz walked with the bases loaded. Xavier, however reponded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning to go on top 2-1. An RBI single by senior Mike Walls and a Kokol's three-run blast to left highlighted a four run fourth for the Hawks and gave SJU a 5-2 advantage. The round tripper was Kokol's third in the last four games. Xavier tallied two runs in the sixth and one in the seventh to tie the ball game. Sophomore Ryan Hoagey got the start for St. Joe's and pitched into the seventh inning, allowing five runs on five hits, but did not factor in the decision. Junior Joe Mucci came in and pitched two scoreless innings of relief to collect his first collegiate win. Walls hurled the ninth for his first save of the year. Sean Finnegan allowed five runs on four hits in 3.2 inning for Xavier, but Jarret Sues, who allowed only one run in 4.1 innings, took the loss and fell to 2-4. Dougher had three hits for SJU and Walls added a pair of knocks. The game completed a three-game A-10 series between the two teams. The game was played on Monday afternoon after being postponed on Sunday due to inclement weather. The Hawks will play Delaware in the semifinals of the Liberty Bell Classic at Veterans Stadium on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. On Wednesday, SJU will either compete in the tournament's title game or host Lehigh at 8:10 PM.