PUNTA GORDA, Fla. – All nine hitters in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team pounded out 17 in total on the way to an 8-2 win over Central Connecticut at South County Regional Park on Wednesday afternoon. Sophomores Liam Bendo and Brendan Hueth and freshman Nate Thomas each went 3-for-5 on the day, while sophomore Brian Vance drove in three runs.
Saint Joseph’s (4-9) took the lead in the bottom of the third and never looked back, scoring in five consecutive innings. Hueth started things off with a one-out single and came in to score on a wild pitch to give the Hawks the lead.
In the fourth, Thomas led off with a double and Charlie Concannon was hit by a pitch before Brian Markoski singled two batters later to load the bases. Vance followed with a two-run single to make it 3-0 before Hueth singled home Markoski to make it 4-0.
Central Connecticut (3-5) got one back on an RBI single by Chris Kanios in the fifth, but the Hawks answered with two more in the bottom half to make it a 6-1 game. With runners on second and third and one out, Markoski grounded out to second to drive in Thomas before Vance hit his second RBI single of the day to plate Concannon.
Three consecutive singles to start the sixth culminated in Dominic Cuoci driving in Liam Bendo to extend the lead, and a James McConnon double in the seventh brought home Hueth with the Hawks’ final run of the day.
The Blue Devils added one in the ninth on another single by Kanios, but would get no closer.
Luke Zimmerman was strong in his first collegiate start, allowing one run on four hits while striking out three for his first win. Tim Buchek took the loss for Central Connecticut, allowing four runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings.
Saint Joseph’s wraps up its stay in the Sunshine State this weekend. The Hawks will meet Seton Hall on Friday before taking on Harvard on Saturday and Sunday; all three games are set to begin at 10:00 a.m. at North Charlotte Regional Park in Port Charlotte.