Hawks Earn First Victories of 2007 in Clearwater
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  03/13/2007

March 13, 2007

Box Score

PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team spent last week in Florida on their annual spring break trip. The Hawks tallied their first wins of the season on the trip, defeating Lehigh 8-2 on Tuesday, and dropping Sacred Heart on Friday by the score of 16-7.

SJU fell to Michigan State, 22-1, on March 4 and by a score of 6-3 to Sacred Heart on March 5. The Hawks then took on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Tuesday, March 6. Freshman Randall Mower pitched seven strong innings, scattering six hits while allowing two runs, walking one and striking out four, as SJU recorded its first victory of the 2007 season by the score of 8-2.

The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning after back-to-back RBI singles by junior Mike Blahusch and sophomore Ben Wendle. Lehigh then scored two to equalize in the bottom half of the third before Mower settled and shut the Mountain Hawks down for the remainder of the game. Junior outfielder Jeremy Jakubowski scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the fourth after being hit by a pitch, coming around on a double by senior Mike Gentile and an RBI groundout by junior shortstop Chris Cashman. The Hawks would go on to tally a run apiece in the sixth and eighth innings before putting the game out of reach with a three-run ninth.

Jakubowski had a big day, going 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and three runs scored. Blahusch, Wendle, and senior Adriano Petrutz were all 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Gentile added two hits of his own. Junior Andrew Powers and sophomore Chris Prescott combined for two scoreless innings of relief to close out the win.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Hawks met the Pittsburgh Panthers. Pitt took both contests, winning Wednesday's game by the score of 6-0 and Thursday's by a 13-6 tally. In Thursday's game, freshman infielder David Valesente was 2-for-4, driving in two runs and scoring one, while senior Kevin Walsh was 2-for-2, recording two RBIs and a run scored of his own.

Friday's getaway game pitted Saint Joseph's against Sacred Heart once again, and this time the Hawk bats came alive. SJU sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the second, scoring seven runs in the frame. The Pioneers scored four in the bottom half of the second, but the Hawks scored one in the third, four in the fourth, one in the sixth, two in the eighth, and one more in the ninth, cruising to a 16-7 victory.

In the game, every Hawk starter recorded at least one hit. Junior catcher Kenny Pustizzi led the way, going 4-for-4 with five RBIs and a run scored. Blahusch was 2-for-4, drove in a run, and scored four. Valesente added two hits, two runs scored, and three RBIs. Senior Jeff Williams started the game, pitching two-and-two-thirds innings before yielding to freshman Adam Rivera. Rivera worked four-and-a-third, ceding three runs on just three hits while fanning two. He notched his first collegiate win in the contest. Fellow newcomers Matt Barnathan and Mike Boyland each worked an inning of relief.

For the week, Pustizzi's .500 (5-for-10) average led all hawks with more than 10 at-bats. Valesente hit .375 with six hits, four RBIs, and three runs scored. Blahusch, Gentile, Wendle, Jakubowski, and Walsh all hit .300 or better over the six-game span. Pustizzi and Wendle both notched five RBIS, while Jakubowski paced the Hawks with six runs scored. Blahusch and Wendle were right behind him with five apiece.

Saint Joseph's returns to the diamond on Friday, March 16 for the Hawks' home opener against Long Island. First pitch is slated for 3:00 PM.