MERION STATION, Pa. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team continued its winning ways on Friday afternoon, scoring seven runs in the first two innings on the way to a 10-5 win over Richmond at Smithson Field. In the game, senior pitcher Daniel Thorpe tied the school record for wins in a season.
Saint Joseph’s (28-10 overall, 14-4 Atlantic 10) posted a three-spot in the first inning for the fourth consecutive game. With one out, Brian O'Keefe worked a walk and advanced to third on a single by Collin Forgey. Tommy Cunningham then ripped a double to right center to bring both runners home and give the Hawks an early edge. After a wild pitch advanced Cunningham to third, Mike Muha followed with an RBI single to push the lead to 3-0.
Richmond (18-23-1 overall, 9-10 Atlantic 10) answered in the second, batting around and scoring five runs. Three straight singles scored Ryan Cook with the first run for the Spiders; after a walk loaded the bases, Mike Small was hit by a pitch to bring UR within a run at 3-2. Doug Kraeger then hit a bases-clearing double to give Richmond a 5-3 lead.
The Hawks responded in kind, batting around themselves in the bottom of the frame. Chris Hueth was hit by a pitch and scored right away on a double by O’Keefe. Forgey followed with a single that scored O’Keefe and tied the game at five apiece. Two batters later, Muha drew a walk to set up Stefan Kancylarz, whose double two-out double to right center plated both runners and gave the Hawks a 7-5 advantage.
Thorpe and UR reliever Andrew Blum settled in at that point, and neither team would score again until the sixth. Blum had retired all 11 batters he had faced until Hueth ripped a one-out double; he advanced to third on a wild pitch and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by O’Keefe.
Kancylarz led off the seventh with his second double of the game and came in to score on a ground ball by Tim Craig. In the eighth, with runners on first and second and two outs, Kevin Kratochwill drew a walk. The runners were in motion, and catcher Corey Moheit popped up and threw to third. The ball got away from third baseman Matt Dacey, allowing Forgey to score the final run of the day for SJU.
After a rocky start, Thorpe retired 17 of 18 hitters between the second and seventh innings to keep the Hawks in front. He pitched into the eighth, allowing five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out seven, to improve to 8-0. That matches the SJU record for wins in a season by a pitcher, tied most recently by Kyle Mullen in 2013.
Lansing Veeder came on in the eighth, inducing a double play to end the inning before making way for Steve Powles, who worked around a one-out walk to finish off the win. Dylan Stoops took the loss for Richmond, falling to 1-6 on the year after allowing seven runs on eight hits in an inning and two-thirds.
The series continues on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Saturday is Alumni and Family Day at Smithson Field, as all former players are invited to bring their families to Hawk Hill for an afternoon of fun. Special guests include The Hawk and the Phillie Phanatic.