PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team was slated to play two on Saturday, but instead finished only one and a half.  Early on, the Hawks fell to Western Michigan, 8-5, before rain led to the suspension of the late game against Georgetown midway through the fifth inning.

In the first game of the day, the Broncos took a big early lead, and a late outburst wasn’t enough as WMU emerged with an 8-5 victory.

Western Michigan (8-5) went ahead right away in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run by Connor Smith.

The Hawks answered with one in the top of the second as Liam Bendo scored on a wild pitch by WMU’s Nic Laio, but the Broncos responded with six in the third, highlighted by a three-run double from Cooper Marshall, to extend the lead to 8-1.

Cole Stetzar, Jose Martinez, Kyle Smith, and Ryan Devine combined to keep the Western Michigan bats at bay from that point forward, allowing just three hits in a combined five and two-thirds innings of relief.

Saint Joseph’s (3-6) posted a four-spot in the seventh to get back in the game.  Bendo led off with a single and two batters later, Brian Markoski hit his first home run of the season to make it an 8-3 game.

Marc Giacalone followed with a walk before pinch hitter Kadar Namey hit a two-run shot of his own to cut the deficit to three.

Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, it would not get any closer and the Broncos would come away with the win.  Laio allowed three runs on four hits in six and a third innings to earn the win, while Hayden Seig took the loss for SJU.

In the afternoon tilt, a three-run third put Georgetown on top before steady rain forced the suspension of play until Sunday morning.

Singles by Giacalone and Charlie Concannon put runners on the corners with one out for James McConnon, whose ground ball led to an error and the game’s first run in the top of the first.

Georgetown loaded the bases with one out in the second, but Jordan DiValerio struck out James Gabor and Austin Shirley in succession to escape the jame.

With one out in the top of the third, Concannon singled eventually went to third on a single by McConnon; Dominic Cuoci followed with with a fielder’s choice that allowed Concannon to score and double the Hawk edge to 2-0.

In the bottom of the frame, however, a two-run double by Eddie McCabe and a single by John Simourian put the Hoyas ahead, 3-2.

Both sides went down in order in the fourth, and after the Hawks were retired in the top of the fifth, play was halted.  After a delay, the game was declared suspended.

The Hawks and Hoyas will resume play with Georgetown at the plate in the bottom of the fifth at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.  Following the completion of today’s game, the teams will play their regularly scheduled matchup that was originally slated for noon.

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