ARLINGTON, Va. – Jordan DiValerio struck out 10 over eight innings, while two-run home runs by Andrew Cossetti in the second and Nate Thomas in the eighth powered the Saint Joseph's baseball team past George Washington, 4-2, at Barcroft Park on Friday afternoon.
DiValerio posted his second eight-plus inning performance of the season, allowing two runs on six hits while fanning 10 and not walking a batter. He improved to 3-2 on the season and has now won three consecutive starts.
It was actually George Washington (14-11 overall, 1-3 Atlantic 10) that got on the board first, touching up DiValerio for four hits and two runs in the bottom half of the first. Tyler Hix hit a two-run single with one out, but DiValerio induced a pair of groundouts to escape further damage.
Cossetti and Thomas teamed up in the top of the second to erase the deficit straight away. Thomas led off the frame by working a walk against Elliott Raimo, and two batters later, Cossetti took an offering over the fence in left center for his team-leading fourth home run of the season and a tie game.
DiValerio settled in after that, retiring 17 out of 18 batters through the end of the sixth inning. Raimo was nearly his equal, scattering three hits over the rest of his outing before ceding the ball to Kevin Hodgson to start the sixth. Hodgson walked both batters he faced, but Keagan McGinnis came on to retire three consecutive Hawks and keep the game tied.
Noah Levin led off the seventh with a double for GW and went to third on a sacrifice bunt to put the go-ahead run 90 feet away with one out, but he would be caught attempting to steal home to erase the threat.
Saint Joseph’s (11-11 overall, 4-0 Atlantic 10) took its first lead of the day an inning later. James McConnon reached on an error to bring up Thomas, who took McGinnis (2-2) deep to right to put the Hawks on top.
With SJU still leading by a pair heading into the ninth, Ryan Devine came on from the bullpen and worked around a one-out double to finish off his fourth save of the season; fittingly, it was Thomas who snared a line drive off the bat of Levin to end it.
The Hawks moved to 4-0 in Atlantic 10 play for the first time in program history; SJU last opened league play with four consecutive wins 40 years ago, in 1979, as a member of the East Coast Conference.
The second game of the weekend series is set for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at Barcroft Park.