LEWISBURG, Pa. – A three-run eighth inning, capped off by a two-run home run from freshman Nate Thomas, led the Saint Joseph’s baseball team past Bucknell, 5-4, at Depew Field on Wednesday afternoon.

With the Hawks trailing 4-2 after seven, Liam Bendo led off the eighth with a single before scoring on a double by Andrew Cossetti.  Thomas followed with his second home run of the season, taking an offering from BU’s Jack Simpson over the fence in left center, to give the Hawks their first lead of the day.

Ryan Devine came in from the bullpen for Saint Joseph’s (7-10) and got the last six outs of the game to notch his third save of the season and preserve the victory for Cole Stetzar, who improved to 1-2 after allowing a run on two hits while striking out two in two innings of relief.

Bucknell (4-16) got on the board right away as an error and a passed ball allowed the Bison to plate two in the first inning to take an early lead.  The hosts extended the lead to 3-0 as Miles Moore singled and eventually scored during a rundown on a pickoff play.

The Hawks chipped away with runs in the fifth and sixth.  Dominic Cuoci was hit by a pitch to start the fifth and eventually came around to score on a groundout by Chris Skermo.  An inning later, Cossetti reached on a two-out error before scoring on a double by Cuoci.

The Bison added one in the seventh on a triple by Jack Schuler, but Bendo, Cossetti, and Thomas combined in the eighth to push the Hawks in front for good.

Neither starter figured into the decision, with Jake Meyers allowing one earned run on four hits in three innings, while Nicholas Sadd allowed a run on two hits while fanning five in five innings of work.

The Hawks open conference play on Friday afternoon at Smithson Field.  First pitch against George Mason is set for 3:00 p.m.

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