MERION STATION, Pa. - Two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning led the Saint Joseph’s baseball team to a 6-4 win over Massachusetts in the season finale for both teams at Smithson Field on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Langston Livingston worked a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the eighth before Marc Giacalone was hit by a pitch and Liam Bendo walked to load the bases for Brian Markoski, who was then hit by a pitch himself to force in a run. Two batters later, David Viselli hit a chopper to the left side that left UMass shortstop Ryan Lever with no play and brought home Giacalone with an insurance run.
Tim Brennan then retired the side in order in the top of the ninth to finish off the contest.
Massachusetts (15-29 overall, 6-18 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the first as Brett Evangelista led off the game with a solo home run.
Saint Joseph’s (21-27 overall, 7-15 Atlantic 10) rallied for a four-spot in the fourth to go in front. Brendan Hueth led off the frame with a single before Charlie Concannon and Livingston walked to load the bases. Giacalone followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
Bendo then drew a walk to force in Concannon and give the Hawks their first lead of the day. Markoski then beat out a relay throw on a fielder’s choice to bring home another run before Vance capped off the inning with an RBI double.
The Minutemen got one back in the sixth after a groundout by Logan Greene, but Brennan escaped the inning with a strikeout to keep the game at 4-2.
Eddy Hart then tied the game for UMass in the top of the eighth with a two-out, two-run home run.
Brennan improved to 9-3 with the win, the 20th of his career, after allowing three runs on six hits while striking out nine across six and two-thirds innings in relief of Ryan Kelly. The graduate student made the start in his final appearance in the Crimson and Gray and allowed one run on one hit, striking out three and walking one, in two and a third innings.
Spencer Bergeron took the loss to fall to 0-1. He allowed two runs on two walks and two hit batters and did not record an out.
With his single in the seventh inning, Matt Maul moved into sole possession of fifth place on the program’s all-time hit list with 226. Maul also graduates as the program’s all-time leader in assists with 595.
Brennan, meanwhile, moved into second place on the program’s all-time strikeout list with 216 for his career. His 84 punchouts on the year are the third-most in a single season in program history.
The Hawks conclude the 2018 campaign with 21 wins, the eighth consecutive season in which Saint Joseph’s has won 20-plus games.