MERION STATION, Pa. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team fell to VCU in a pair of games at Smithson Field on Saturday, as the Rams wrapped up the series with a 13-3 win in game one and a 4-0 win in the second game.
In the opener, the Rams took a big lead early and salted it away late as they claimed a 13-3 victory.
VCU (36-16 overall, 16-5 Atlantic 10) jumped out in front with a three-spot in the first, with all three runs scoring on bases-loaded walks. The Rams then tacked on two more in the second on a two-run single by Liam Hibbits.
Langston Livingston got the Hawks on the board in the bottom of the third, leading off the frame with his third home run of the season to make it 5-1.
The Rams answered with four more in the fourth and one in the fifth to push the advantage up to 10-1.
Saint Joseph’s (18-27 overall, 10-11 Atlantic 10) got a pair in the bottom of the fifth as Livingston led off with a double, Brendan Hueth worked a walk, and Andrew Cossetti eventually brought home both runs with a single.
A two-out run in the sixth extended the VCU lead to 11-3 before another run in the eighth pushed it to 12-3. The Rams closed out the scoring with another singleton in the ninth.
Connor Gillispie earned the win, improving to 4-2 after allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out 10 in five innings. Danny Watson notched the save with four shutout innings of relief, while Luke Zimmerman suffered his first loss of the season for SJU.
In the nightcap, the Rams just scored single runs in four different innings, but the Hawk bats were not able to break through as VCU secured the series sweep with a 4-0 win.
The visitors took the lead in the first once again as Hogan Brown reached on an error and came around to score when Paul Witt hit into a double play. The Rams doubled the advantage in the fourth on an RBI single by Steven Carpenter, but the Hawks escaped further damage when shortstop Matt Cuppari snared a line drive off the bat of Hunter Vay and relayed it to Chris Skermo at second for a key double play.
In the sixth, Witt led off with a double and came around to score on a single by Liam Hibbits to extend the margin to 3-0. The Rams would add one more in the ninth on a single by Brown.
The Hawks threatened in the bottom of the ninth, as Liam Bendo and Jake Artz led off the inning with consecutive singles, but Sam Ryan avoided further damage, closing out the game with consecutive strikeouts to preserve the shutout.
Ryan allowed two hits over three innings of relief to lock up his sixth save of the season in support of Curtis Bafus, who tossed two and two-thirds innings in relief of starter Jack Alkire to earn the win and move to 2-2 on the year. Ryan Devine got the start for SJU and took a tough-luck loss, allowing two earned runs over five innings. Cole Stetzar pitched well in relief as well, allowing just two hits over the final four innings.
Between games, the Hawks recognized the graduating members of the Saint Joseph's Class of 2019 in a brief ceremony. SJU honored Jake Meyers, Charlie Concannon, and Brendan Roach – who had just notched his first career hit during the opening game of the day – for their dedication to the program over the last four seasons.
The Hawks will close out their home slate on Tuesday afternoon when William and Mary visits Hawk Hill. First pitch at Smithson Field is set for 3:00 p.m.