MERION STATION, Pa. - The Saint Joseph's baseball team split a doubleheader with crosstown rival La Salle on Saturday, dropping the opener, 5-3, before claiming the second half of the twinbill, 3-2.
In the opener, the Hawks took an early lead, but the Explorers scored four in the fourth and one in the seventh to come away with a 5-3 victory.
Saint Joseph's (16-23 overall, 7-10 Atlantic 10) took an early lead in the opener, scoring three runs against Explorers starter Matt Holt. Matt Maul
led off with a single before Deon Stafford
, Jr., drew a walk. Charlie Concannon
followed with a double down the left field line to plate both runs and give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
then followed two batters later with a ground ball to first that Ben Faso threw home; the throw was errant and Concannon came home to push the margin to three.
La Salle (9-35 overall, 3-14 Atlantic 10) jumped ahead with a four-run fourth. Michael Flax and Kevin McGowan started the inning with walks before Ben Faso doubled to left to make it a 3-1 game. After Justin Aungst
fanned consecutive batters, Connor Hinchcliffe hit a ball off the left field foul pole to give the Explorers a 4-3 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Yan Carlo Rivera led off with a double before Austin Constantini singled him home to make it a 5-3 game.
The Hawks had an opportunity in the eighth, putting two on with two out, but Jorge Jimenez induced a popup to end the threat.
Jimenez allowed four hits in three and a third shutout innings to earn the win and improve to 3-3. Aungst took the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits while striking out seven in six innings to fall to 0-3. Constantini then tossed a perfect ninth for his fifth save of the season.
In the nightcap, Stafford's game-tying home run and Maul's RBI single were enough to give the Hawks a 3-2 win.
The Explorers took the lead in the top half of the second as Brian Tagoe led off the inning with a double and scored on a throwing error. Faso then led off the fourth with a solo home run, his sixth of the season, to double the margin.
Starter Blake James held the Hawks without a hit until the fourth but ran into trouble in the sixth. Maul led off with a double before Stafford went deep for the sixth time this season, moving into sole possession of second place on the Hawks' all-time list and tying the game at 2-2.
Jadacki then led off the seventh with a double before Maul singled two batters later to put SJU ahead for the first time.
Tagoe led off the ninth with a walk and was sacrificed over to second by Rafael Amanau, but Brian Lau escaped the jam with a fly ball to left to end the ballgame.
Lau allowed one hit across two and two-thirds shutout innings to earn the win and improve to 2-1. Jackson Ray was charged with a run on three hits in an inning and a third to take the loss and fall to 0-2. Tim Brennan allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits while striking out nine in six and a third innings.
The teams will play the rubber game at Smithson Field on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m.