GREENVILLE, N.C. – A five-run fifth inning led Pepperdine to an 11-2 win over the Saint Joseph’s baseball team at Clark-LeClair Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Pepperdine (5-6) took the early lead with a three-spot in the bottom half of the second. Three walks to start the inning loaded the bases for Cory Wills, whose first-pitch single scored Matthew Kanfer with the game’s first run. Two batters later, Quincy McAfee’s double scored a pair and made it a 3-0 game.
Saint Joseph’s (2-4) answered in the top of the third. Tim Johnson led off the frame with a double and advanced to third on an infield single by Marc Giacalone. Pitcher Christian Stoutland then attempted a pickoff throw that went awry and allowed the runners to advance and put the Hawks on the board.
Charlie Concannon would bring the Hawks within a run two batters later with a single to make it a 3-2 game. The Waves got one back in the bottom half of the inning, though, on a solo home run by Kanfer.
The Waves then broke things open in the fifth, using four hits and a walk and benefiting from two SJU errors to extend the lead to 9-2. Two more in the bottom of the eighth set the final margin.
Stoutland allowed two runs on five hits in six innings to improve to 2-0. Hayden Seig was charged with four runs on four hits to take the loss for SJU.
“It was a tough day today,” head coach Fritz Hamburg said. “I thought our mindset was good. Hayden was competitive, but had a tough second inning. Three consecutive walks is no doubt going to hurt. Had we escaped only giving up one run, we take the momentum by minimizing the damage. Unfortunately, McAfee doubled with two strikes and two outs just inside the first base bag and that put them in a good spot to start.
“We need to get better at staying out of the big inning,” he continued. “The five-run fifth really hurt. Walks and errors will get you every time and they did today in that inning. I thought we swung the bat decently, but not when we had guys in scoring position. We'll get better with that, and I thought we executed that part pretty well yesterday.
“It was good to see Tim Johnson get a couple hits and Matt Kennedy did a good job in his two innings of work on the mound. I think we've been able to get a lot of guys opportunities to play. We have questions that we need to get answered and the only way to do that is by giving these guys those opportunities. Yesterday's performance showed that we are capable of beating good teams. We just need to continue to take advantage of each day and keep moving forward. As always, we are excited to get back out there tomorrow for the next challenge.”
The Hawks will wrap up the weekend against #18 East Carolina on Sunday. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.