MERION STATION, Pa. – Brian Lau unfurled a bit of senior day magic on Sunday, tossing six innings on the mound and adding a two-run home run as the Saint Joseph's baseball team earned a critical 6-4 win to sweep a three-game series against Dayton at Smithson Field.
Lau finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs batted in, and allowed four runs on five hits while striking out six in his first career start. He retired the first six batters he faced and 14 of 15 through four and two-thirds hitless innings.
Saint Joseph's (19-24 overall, 10-11 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the second inning as Dominic Cuoci led off with a single, went to third on a single by Marc Giacalone, and came in to score on a fielder's choice by Peter Sitaras.
Charlie Concannon tripled the lead in the third as Deon Stafford, Jr., drew a one-out walk before Concannon sent a blast over the fence in right, his sixth home run of the year, to make it a 3-0 game.
The Hawks doubled the advantage with a three-spot in the fourth. Sitaras led off the frame with a single before Lau went deep for the fifth time this season to make it 5-0 in favor of SJU. Two batters later, Matt Maul reached on an infield single before Stafford ripped a double into the left field corner to score Maul and push the margin to 6-0.
Lau allowed just a walk to Robbie Doring over the first four innings and fanned Tate Hagan and Connor Echols to start the fifth before Doring hit a nubber down the first base line that trickled into right field for the Flyers' first hit of the game. Doring then stole second base before Bailey Montoya followed with a single up the middle. Sitaras came up firing, however, and the throw from center and the tag from Stafford were in time to snuff out Doring and keep the shutout intact.
Dayton (17-34 overall, 6-15 Atlantic 10) would then break through with four runs in the sixth. After a single by Mitch Coughlin and a walk to Nick Ryan left two on with two out, Brandon Smith cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. Pinch hitter Brian Wood then followed with a home run to right to cut the Hawk lead to 6-4.
Jordan DiValerio came on in relief of Lau and tossed an inning and two-thirds, but made way for Zach DeVincenzo with two on and two down. DeVincenzo induced a fly ball out of Wood before sending the Flyers down in order in the ninth for his first career save.
Lau improved to 3-1 on the season, while R.J. Wagner took the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits and two walks over three and a third innings.
The Hawks will head to Arlington, Virginia, for a three-game series at George Washington in control of their own postseason destiny. First pitch in the series opener is set for 3:00 p.m. on Thursday at Barcroft Park.