MERION STATION, Pa. – The Saint Joseph's baseball team split its doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, beating St. Bonaventure, 3-2, in the opener before falling to the Bonnies, 8-7, in the nightcap at Smithson Field. Langston Livingston hit his first two home runs of the season on the day; he hit one in each contest, including a game-tying grand slam in the second game.
In the opener, the Hawks took an early lead and made it stand up on the way to their second 3-2 win in as many days.
With two outs in the first, Andrew Cossetti singled before Dominic Cuoci doubled him over to third. Nate Thomas extended the inning with a walk that brought up Jake Artz, whose single scored two and gave SJU a 2-0 lead.
St. Bonaventure (12-26 overall, 6-12 Atlantic 10) got one back in the top of the second on a bases-loaded walk by Branden Myers, but Livingston extended the lead back to a pair in the bottom of the fourth with a leadoff home run.
The Bonnies had multiple chances to tie or go ahead over the course of the early to middle innings, but starter Luke Zimmerman and reliever Jose Martinez combined to strand 11 baserunners between the second and fifth.
Neither team scored again until the ninth, when Tyler Kelder led off with a home run to get the Bonnies back within a run. Kevin Higgins hit a one-out single to put the tying run on base, but Cole Stetzar finished off the inning to end the ballgame.
Martinez notched the win with four and a third shutout innings, allowing three hits while striking out four, to improve to 2-3. Ben Contento fell to 1-4, taking the loss after allowing three runs on nine hits in six innings. Stetzar earned his second save with one inning of relief.
In the day’s second game, it was the visitors who took the early lead, but it was a two-out double in the seventh that made the difference as the Bonnies came away with an 8-7 win.
Jeff Palczewski was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first to put SBU ahead before Kelder singled home a run in the second to double the advantage. Brandon Henshaw then doubled in a run and Myers singled home another in the third to make it a 4-0 lead for the Bonnies.
Saint Joseph’s (18-24 overall, 10-8 Atlantic 10) manufactured a pair of runs to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third. James McConnon and Cossetti kept the inning alive with two-out singles before Cuoci hit one of his own to score SJU’s first run of the game. Thomas then followed with yet another single to plate Cossetti and make it 4-2.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, St. Bonaventure got both runs back when Higgins hit an infield single that led to an error, allowing Palczewski and Matthew Williams to score and make it 6-2.
The Hawks got back into the game in the fifth. McConnon led off with a walk, and after a single by Cuoci and a walk to Thomas, the bases were loaded for Livingston; the junior cleared the wall in right and the bases for the second time in four hours, tying the game at six apiece.
The visitors went ahead once again in the seventh as a pair of walks set Williams up for a two-out, two-run double that put the Bonnies on top, 8-6.
Matt Kennedy came on in relief and ran into some trouble in the top of the ninth, allowing a pair of two-out singles, but was able to keep things where they were with a groundout. In the bottom of the frame, Brendan Hueth led off with a triple and came in to score on a single by McConnon, but the Hawks could not get the tying run across.
Donovan Moffat allowed a run on two hits in the ninth to earn his fourth save of the season, saving the game for Murphy O’Brien. O’Brien improved to 4-1 after retiring all 10 hitters he faced on the afternoon. Jake Meyers took the loss for SJU, falling to 2-2 on the year after allowing three earned runs in four and two-thirds innings of relief.
The Hawks are idle until Friday, May 10, when Atlantic 10 leader VCU visits Hawk Hill. First pitch in the series opener is set for 3:00 p.m. at Smithson Field.