May 4, 2012
MERION STATION, Pa. - Greg Kumpel and Ryan Pater had three hits apiece, but it was a passed ball in the bottom of the 11th inning that allowed Brett Tiagwad to score the winning run as the Saint Joseph's baseball team defeated George Washington, 5-4, on the Maguire Campus on Friday afternoon.
Tiagwad drew a leadoff walk to start the frame and went to third on a double to right center by Pater. Pinch hitter Tommy Cunningham swung and missed at a pitch from Eric Lara, but the ball got away from catcher Jimmy Best and Tiagwad crossed the plate with the winning run.
Saint Joseph's (20-24 overall, 10-5 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the bottom of the first, scoring a pair on an RBI single by Kumpel and a groundout by Chris Hueth.
George Washington (17-29 overall, 3-13 Atlantic 10) got one back in the top of the third on a single by Owen Beightol.
The Hawks had a prime opportunity to add to the lead in the bottom half, loading the bases with one out, but GW starter Justin Albright notched a strikeout and induced a ground ball to escape the jam.
The Colonials equalized in the top of the sixth as Beightol scored from third when Hawk starter Kyle Mullen was charged with a balk.
SJU edged back in front with a pair in the seventh. After a single by Kumpel put runners on first and third with one out, Lansing Veeder came in on a wild pitch to put the Hawks on top, 3-2. Hueth then drove in his second run of the game with a single to left to double the advantage.
Matt Murakami ripped a single to right with two on and nobody out in the top of the eighth to score Beightol and cut the Hawk margin to 4-3.
The Colonials still had runners on first and second with one out when Ryan Hickey hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop Anthony Cirillo made a fantastic grab and backhanded flip to second, allowing Veeder to fire the relay to first in time for a critical inning-ending double play.
George Washington knotted things up in the top half on a two-out single by Stephen Oswald.
Neither team tallied until the bottom of the 11th, when Tiagwad scored on the passed ball to end the game.
Mullen went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven. Justin Albright started for the Colonials, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits while notching six strikeouts and a walk.
Lara took the loss for GW, allowing the one unearned run on a hit, a walk, and two strikeouts. Mike Muha tossed an inning and a third of one-hit relief to pick up his fourth win of the season.
Kumpel and Pater paced the Hawks with three hits; Kumpel added a run batted in and two runs scored while Pater also scored a run. Beightol and Oswald had three hits apiece for the Colonials, while Beightol added two runs scored and an RBI.
The win marks the 11th consecutive Atlantic 10 series-opening victory for the Hawks dating back to April 2011.
The teams will play the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon. All former Hawk baseball players and their families are encouraged to attend as Saturday is SJU Baseball Alumni Day at the ballpark. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. on the Maguire Campus.