PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team kicked off its weekend series at crosstown rival La Salle on Friday afternoon with a win, topping the Explorers by a 6-4 score at Hank DeVincent Field. Mike Muha and Stefan Kancylarz each hit home runs for the Hawks.
Saint Joseph’s (24-10 overall, 11-4 Atlantic 10) posted a four-spot in the top of the second to take an early lead. Tommy Cunningham led off the inning with a double and came in to score on Muha’s third home run of the year.
Kancylarz then followed with a double, heading to third on a misplay by right fielder Justin Korenblatt, and came in to score on a single by Kevin Kratochwill. Kratochwill then scored on an errant pickoff throw by La Salle starter Shane Hollman and a throwing error from first baseman Mark Williams to extend the lead to 4-0.
La Salle (11-26 overall, 6-8 Atlantic 10) got to within one in the third on a two-run triple by Korenblatt and a single by Cameron Johnson.
Muha then led off the fourth with a single before Kancylarz hit his second home run in his last three games to push the advantage to 6-3.
The Explorers threatened in the bottom of the seventh, putting two on with two out, but Lansing Veeder came out of the bullpen and retired Kevin Baron on a leaping grab by Kratochwill to end the threat.
Johnson led off the ninth with a home run, but Veeder struck out three of the next four hitters to end the game.
Veeder earned his third save of the season to preserve the win for Daniel Thorpe, who improved to 7-0 on the season. Thorpe allowed three runs on six hits, fanning five and walking two in six and two-thirds innings.
The teams will return to Hank DeVincent Field on Saturday afternoon. Due to the potential for rain, first pitch has been moved up to 12:00 p.m.