PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – Junior Jordan DiValerio pitched into the ninth inning on Friday, earning his first win of the season as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team topped Seton Hall, 7-4, at North Charlotte Regional Park on Friday.

Saint Joseph’s (5-9) opened the scoring in the third as Matt Cuppari doubled and came in to score on an RBI double by Liam Bendo.

The Pirates equalized in the bottom of the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Steve Grober, but the Hawks answered in the top of the sixth when Dominic Cuoci hit his first home run of the season to put SJU on top, 2-1.

The Hawks then sent eight batters to the plate in the seventh to open up some breathing room.  Cuppari led off with another double and scored on a single by Brendan Hueth.  Later in the inning, Nate Thomas and Andrew Cossetti hit consecutive RBI singles to bring home Hueth and James McConnon, respectively, and extend the lead to 5-1.

SJU added a pair of key insurance runs in the ninth after McConnon walked and Thomas hit his first collegiate home run to put the Hawks up by six.

The runs would prove vital as Seton Hall (2-11) mounted a rally in the ninth.  The Pirates strung together five hits, scoring three times and bringing the tying run to the plate, but Ryan Devine induced a fly ball from Matt Toke to end the game.

DiValerio was charged with four runs, striking out four, in 8.1 innings to improve to 1-2.  Ricky DeVito started for Seton Hall and did not factor into the decision, allowing one run on five hits and striking out nine in five innings of work.  Blake Espinal took the loss for the Pirates, falling to 1-3 on the year after allowing three runs on three hits in one inning of relief.

The Hawks will wrap up their stay in Florida with a pair of weekend games against Harvard.  First pitch on Saturday is set for 1:30 p.m.

RELATED