WILMINGTON, N.C. – It was a back and forth affair on Saturday afternoon, but in the end, the Saint Joseph’s baseball team fell to UNC Wilmington, 10-8, in a rainy slugfest at Brooks Field. Freshman Andrew Cossetti hit his first collegiate home run for the Hawks, while Liam Bendo, Brendan Hueth, and James McConnon notched two hits apiece.
Saint Joseph’s (1-2) opened the scoring right away as a pair of walks to start the game and a fielding error put the Hawks on top, 1-0.
The Seahawks equalized on an infield single in the bottom half of the inning, but SJU answered with a three-spot in the top half of the second. Nate Thomas and Bendo drew walks to bring Hueth to the plate with one away; he singled home Thomas to put the Hawks back on top. McConnon then followed with a two-run single to plate Bendo and Hueth and push the margin to 4-1.
UNC Wilmington (2-1) got two back on a single by Greg Jones in the second before taking a 7-4 lead with a four-run third, capped off by a solo home run from Zachary Bridges.
The Hawks drew level in the fourth thanks to a longball of their own. A pair of singles and a fielder’s choice put two on for Cossetti, who deposited an offering from Blake Deatherage over the fence in left field to tie the game.
UNCW threatened in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with nobody out on a single, a walk, and a hit batsman, but Hayden Seig was able to see his way out of the jam thanks to a pop up, a strikeout, and a diving catch in right field by Charlie Concannon to end the inning.
Bendo started the top of the fifth with a single and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. McConnon then grounded out to short to bring home Bendo and put the Hawks back in front.
The hosts tallied three in the seventh to retake the lead, as a two-run home run by Brooks Baldwin and an RBI groundout from Jones made it a 10-8 ballgame.
The Hawks would have one last chance in the top of the ninth, but Blake Morgan retired the side in order to give the Seahawks the win.
Morgan retired all seven hitters he faced, striking out five, to earn his first win of the season. Seig took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits in three and a third innings in his season debut.
Saint Joseph’s will wrap up its opening weekend at Brooks Field on Sunday with a 10:00 a.m. first pitch against VMI.