MERION STATION, Pa. – A day after struggling at the plate, the Saint Joseph’s baseball team put on an offensive show, pounding out a season-high 19 hits on the way to a 13-1 rout of Sacred Heart at Smithson Field on Saturday afternoon.
Tim Brennan was outstanding on the mound in his first home start of the season, but the performance was nearly overshadowed by the Hawk bats. Each Hawk in the starting lineup notched at least one hit, led by three-hit days from Charlie Concannon, Dominic Cuoci, and Kadar Namey. Cuoci and Namey each hit home runs as well on the way to notching four runs batted in apiece.
“It was an impressive day for us offensively,” head coach Fritz Hamburg said. “I would have liked to see us cash in on the opportunities we had earlier in the game, but I was pleased to see us stay the course.”
Leadoff man Marc Giacalone gave Saint Joseph’s (7-8) the lead on the first pitch he saw, taking Brent Teller deep over the right field fence to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks used some station-to-station baseball in the third and put a three-spot on the board. With one out, Matt Maul was hit by a pitch before Concannon singled and James McConnon walked to load the bases. Cuoci, Brendan Hueth, and Namey then followed with three consecutive RBI singles to give SJU a 4-0 lead.
Sacred Heart (4-9) got on the board in the top of the fifth when Dan Schock led off the inning with his fourth home run of the season.
The Crimson and Gray put the game out of reach in the sixth, sending 12 batters to the plate in a seven-run stanza. A walk to Liam Bendo and singles by Giacalone and Maul loaded the bases for Concannon, who unloaded them with a two-run single to make it 6-1 and chase Teller from the game.
McConnon then greeted reliever Nick Rubino with an RBI single before Cuoci followed with one of his own to extend the lead to 8-1. Two batters later, Namey hit a no-doubter over the left field fence to push the Hawk margin to double-digits.
In the seventh, McConnon hit a one-out single before Cuoci hit his third home run in seven days to set the final score.
“I feel that we competed well against [Teller], who is certainly a good arm and knows how to pitch,” Hamburg said. “Giacalone leading the game off with the home run certainly set the tone. It was good to see Charlie, James, Dom and Kadar have the day that each of them did, and Matt made some stellar defensive plays that kept the momentum on our side.”
Brennan retired the first 12 hitters of the game before Schock’s home run, ultimately finishing the afternoon with just the one run allowed on two hits and one hit batsman. He struck out six and did not walk a batter to improve to 3-1. Teller allowed eight runs on 11 hits in five-plus innings to fall to 2-1.
Jake Meyers and Ryan Kelly each tossed a perfect inning of relief, with Kelly notching two strikeouts in his first outing at Smithson Field in 22 months after missing most of last season due to injury.
“Tim pitched another solid ballgame,” Hamburg said. “Although he wasn’t quite as sharp as he was last week, he did what he had to do to get us off the field quickly and let the offense focus on exactly that. To limit their offense to four baserunners the entire day says all you need to know about how Tim, Jake, and Ryan pitched it today.”
The Hawks will close out the weekend on Sunday when they host Manhattan. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.