March 9, 2008
WINTER PARK, Fla. - For the second time in three games, Holy Cross came back from an early deficit to defeat the Saint Joseph's University baseball team in extra innings. In a wind-whipped contest on Saturday, the Crusaders overcame a 6-3 Hawk lead in the eighth and eventually won the game by a 7-6 score. The loss, the fifth in a row for the Hawks, meant that Saint Joseph's finished in fourth place in the 60th annual Rollins College Baseball Week tournament. The host, Rollins, won the tournament with a 2-1 win over Georgetown Saturday evening.
Holy Cross (4-5) took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after a two-out error led to back-to-back singles to bring home the run.
Saint Joseph's (2-10) knotted the game quickly in the top of the second. After leading off with a double down the left-field line, sophomore Matt Barnathan advanced to third base on a fielder's choice by Brian Hartsell. Senior Ken Pustizzi drove in SJU's first run of the game with a single to right center.
The Hawks tallied a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to jump ahead. Crusaders starter Dan Seip started off the fifth by hitting Pustizzi with a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by Jereme Scott and a groundout by Jeremy Jakubowski put a runner on third with two out. Seip then hit Chris Hildreth and walked Ben Wendle to load the bases. Barnathan followed with a two-run single through the right side to put SJU on top, 3-1.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Holy Cross used an RBI groundout and an RBI single to tie the game after five.
Joe Cook led off the sixth for the Hawks with a triple into the right-field corner. Hartsell's sacrifice fly put SJU back on top, 4-3. After Scott walked and reached second on a failed pickoff attempt, Jakubowski ripped a single into right field to put Saint Joseph's back up by two, 5-3.
Cook led off the eighth inning with a double and eventually came around to score on a double play grounder to extend the lead to 6-3.
Unfortunately for SJU, things came unraveled in the bottom half of the inning. After sophomore Mark Dolaghan retired the first two hitters in quick succession, four straight singles helped Holy Cross tie the game, 6-6.
The Hawks went down quietly in the ninth, but the Crusaders did anything but. After junior Chris Prescott, who came on to relieve Dolaghan in the eighth, allowed two singles and a stolen base, Holy Cross shortstop John Sills was intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs. The move worked perfectly as second baseman Jake Gorman hit a chopper to Hildreth at second, who threw home to Pustizzi to record the force out and keep the game alive. Crusaders designated hitter Brendan Akashian then hit into a 6-4-3 double play, getting Prescott and the Hawks out of the jam.
SJU was not so lucky in the bottom of the 11th, however, as Gorman came up to the plate once again with the bases loaded, this time with one out. This time, Gorman knocked a single into left field to win the game for Holy Cross.
Extremely windy conditions made every fly ball an adventure in the field and every throw across the diamond a tough one. The teams combined for 25 hits and were each charged with two errors.
Saint Joseph's starter Don Werner had his second consecutive solid start, working six innings and ceding three runs (two of them unearned) on just four hits. He struck out three and walked one. Prescott was also impressive in holding the Crusaders at bay, putting in two-and-a-third scoreless innings.
SJU outfielder Ryan McDonald was the lone Hawk named to the Baseball Week All-Tournament Team. The redshirt freshman hit .583 for the week with a home run and four runs batted in.
The Hawks return to action Tuesday afternoon with a road game against Seton Hall.