PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A three-run fifth inning gave the Saint Joseph’s baseball team all the offense it would need on Tuesday as the Hawks came away with a 3-2 win over Bucknell at North Charlotte Regional Park. Sophomore righthander Matt Kennedy had a strong outing on the mound, tossing 6.2 shutout innings and allowing just three hits.
The teams combined for just three hits over the first four innings, but Saint Joseph’s (3-9) finally broke through in the top half of the fifth. Dominic Cuoci led off the frame with a single before advancing to second on a balk by Bucknell pitcher Nate Grisius, and to third on a groundout by Nate Thomas. After a walk to Andrew Cossetti, Jake Artz ripped a two-run triple to give the Hawks the lead.
Kadar Namey then followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Artz and make it a 3-0 game.
Bucknell (4-9) threatened in the bottom of the sixth. An error, a single, and a walk – all with two outs – loaded the bases for JohnPaul Bell, but Kennedy induced a fly out to escape the jam.
The Bison loaded the bases in the seventh as well, but Jose Martinez came in from the bullpen to notch the final out and keep the Hawks in front.
Bucknell eventually struck in the ninth. A pair of walks and a hit batsman left the bases loaded once again with two outs, but this time Dominic Toso singled home a pair to cut the Hawks’ lead to 3-2. With the tying run on third, however, Ryan Devine got Bell to fly out again to preserve the victory.
Devine pitched the ninth for his second save of the season, preserving the win for Kennedy, who allowed three hits while striking out four in 6.2 shutout innings to improve to 1-1. Grisius fell to 1-1 after allowing three runs on four hits in five innings of work.
The Hawks will be in action once again on Wednesday when they meet Central Connecticut. First pitch at South County Regional Park in Punta Gorda is set for noon.