ELON, N.C. – Collin Forgey drove in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth and then scored the winning run in the 12th as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team came from behind to beat Gardner-Webb, 5-4, in the Elon Invitational at Latham Park on Saturday. Forgey and Brian O'Keefe had two hits apiece, while Taylor Boyd scored two runs for the Hawks.
With one away in the 12th, Forgey laid a bunt single down the third base line before stealing second to get into scoring position. Stefan Kancylarz followed with a single to left, and when Gardner-Webb’s Tyler Best misplayed the ball, Forgey came into score and send the Crimson and Gray home with the victory.
Steven Schuler retired the only batter he faced to earn his first win of the season, while Andrew Massey took the loss for GWU. Daniel Thorpe was solid for the Hawks, allowing just two earned runs on four hits in six innings; he fanned four against just one walk. Tyler Pallante was outstanding in relief, retiring all 12 batters he faced, including five on strikes. At one point, Thorpe, Pallante, and Ryan Kelly retired 21 consecutive Gardner-Webb hitters between the fifth and 12th innings.
The game was scoreless until both teams broke through in the third. Gardner-Webb (3-7) benefitted from a pair of Hawk errors and a single by Scott Coleman to take a 2-0 lead.
Saint Joseph’s (2-3) answered in the bottom half of the frame, posting a three-spot to take a 3-2 lead. Boyd was hit by a pitch and then stole second before advancing to third on a single by Chris Hueth. O’Keefe then singled home Boyd to get the Hawks on the board.
Two batters later, Kancylarz drew a two-out walk to load the bases for Tommy Cunningham; Cunningham’s fly ball to left was dropped by GWU’s Alex Newman, allowing Hueth and O’Keefe to score and put SJU ahead by a run.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs went back in front in the fifth on a two-out, two-run double by Coleman.
The Hawks threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with nobody out, but after a fly out, reliever Hunter Smith came on and recorded a pair of strikeouts to escape the inning. Cunningham then ripped a one-out double in the eighth, but was stranded there by Smith to send the game to the ninth.
With the Hawks trailing 4-3, Boyd led off with a walk before Ryan Pater hit into a fielder’s choice. Boyd was safe at second on the play to put two on with nobody out. After Nate Shank came on to pinch run for Pater, a passed ball put runners on second and third. Two batters later, O’Keefe was intentionally walked to bring Forgey to the plate, whose single scored Boyd to tie the game.
In the 12th, Sam Fulginiti hit a two-out double against Kelly, but Schuler came in from the pen to strike out Collin Thacker to keep the Runnin’ Bulldogs off the scoreboard before the Hawks won it in the bottom of the inning.
Saint Joseph’s concludes the Elon Invitational with a game against High Point on Sunday. First pitch is set for noon.