CARY, N.C. – Sophomore outfielder Brendan Hueth's two-out, three-run home run in the top of the 10th inning put the Saint Joseph's baseball team in front, and despite a late rally, the Hawks held on for a 3-2 win over Army West Point at the USA Baseball National Training Complex on Friday.
After the teams played nine innings without a run crossing the plate, a leadoff single by Nate Thomas and a one-out knock by Matt Cuppari put Saint Joseph's (2-3) in position to break the deadlock in the top of the 10th. Two batters later, a fielder's choice erased pinch runner Liam Bendo at home with what would have been the go-ahead run and left the Hawks with two on and two out. That's when Hueth stepped up and took Army's Harry Flannery deep to right and gave the Hawks the lead.
Army (3-3) did not surrender quietly, however, as the Black Knights would rally for a pair of their own in the bottom of the frame. A walk, a single, and a groundout left runners on second and third with one out before a sacrifice fly from Jacob Hurtubise got West Point on the board. An RBI single from Drake Titus then brought the winning run to the plate, but Luke Zimmerman came in from the bullpen to retire Anthony Giachin and notch his first collegiate save.
After a brisk opening five innings saw the teams combine for just three hits, the Hawks threatened in the top of the sixth. James McConnon and Charlie Concannon singled to put two on with two out, but Army's Tyler Giovinco induced a fielder's choice to escape the frame unscathed.
The Black Knights answered with a threat of their own in the bottom of the inning as a single and a pair of walks loaded the bases, but Ryan Devine put out the fire with a fielder's choice of his own to leave the game scoreless. Army would get a runner to third with two outs in the seventh as well, but Devine fanned Trey Martin to keep things level.
Both starting pitchers were strong on Friday, as Stetzar allowed just two hits in 5.2 innings, while Giovinco held the Hawks to four hits across seven innings. Jose Martinez got the win for SJU, allowing two runs on three hits to go with two strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings, while Flannery was saddled with the loss after he ceded three runs on three hits in three innings of relief.
The Hawks will play a pair tomorrow as they meet Tulane at noon and Fairleigh Dickinson at 4:30 p.m. Both games will be played at the USA Baseball Complex.