MERION STATION, Pa.– A four-run first inning propelled Delaware to a 6-2 win over the Saint Joseph’s baseball team at Smithson Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Blue Hens went ahead with the benefit of three walks before a passed ball and then a three-run home run by Jack Goan gave the visitors a 4-0 lead after a half-inning.
Saint Joseph’s (16-23) got a pair back in the bottom of the frame. Brendan Hueth led off with a single up the middle and then stole second before James McConnon was hit by a pitch. Two batters later, Nate Thomas reached on a fielder’s choice that pushed Hueth to third before Jake Artz legged out an infield single to bring him home.
Brian Markoski then followed with a single to center that scored Thomas and made it a 4-2 game after one.
Delaware (17-27) extended the lead in the third as Jordan Hutchins drew a one-out walk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Goan.
That’s when the pitching took over, as SJU’s Hayden Seig, Jake Meyers, Blaise Venancio, and Luke Zimmerman combined to retire 14 of 15 Blue Hen hitters over the middle innings. On the other side, UD starter Jake Dubecq retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced, while Joey Haas came on and sent down all six hitters he saw in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Hawks had an opportunity in the eighth as Thomas and Markoski drew walks, but Winston Allen worked around the baserunners to keep SJU off the board.
The Blue Hens then padded the lead in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Zack Miller. Chance DiFebbo came on to pitch the ninth and navigated his way past a double by Matt Cuppari to finish off the victory.
Haas earned the win for UD, striking out one in two perfect innings to improve to 1-1, while Seig took the loss, falling to 1-4.
Saint Joseph’s returns to action on Friday for the first of a three-game set with St. Bonaventure. First pitch is set for 3:00 p.m. at Smithson Field.