MERION STATION, Pa. – Senior righthander Daniel Thorpe was outstanding through eight innings on Saturday as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team pounded out 13 hits en route to an 8-0 shutout of Niagara in the 2014 Big 5 Baseball Bash at Smithson Field.
Thorpe notched 10 strikeouts and scattered five hits in eight shutout innings to earn his first win of the season. Tommy Cunningham, Kevin Kratochwill, and Brian O'Keefe notched three hits apiece for the Hawks, while Kratochwill and O’Keefe each drove in three runs on the day.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Saint Joseph’s (4-4) hung a three-spot on the board to take the lead. Cunningham and Mike Muha started off the frame with consecutive singles before Kratochwill laced an RBI single to right center to score Cunningham and put the Hawks in front.
Two batters later, Ryan Pater ripped a double down the right field line to score Muha and leave runners at second and third for Chris Hueth. Hueth was hit by a pitch to load the bases before O’Keefe beat out an infield single to extend the lead to 3-0.
Niagara (4-9) threatened in the fifth, putting two on with one out, but after a sacrifice bunt, Thorpe fanned Geoff Seto with runners on second and third to escape the jam.
SJU manufactured a run in the sixth as Hueth hit a two-out single, stole second, and came in to score on a single by O’Keefe to make it a 4-0 game.
In the seventh, Taylor Boyd’s sacrifice fly scored Cunningham, who had doubled with one out, to extend the lead to 5-0.
The Hawks put the game away in the eighth, tacking on three insurance runs. Hueth was hit by a pitch for the second time to start the inning and then took a pair of bases on a wild pitch by Anthony Caringi. O’Keefe followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Hueth and extend the advantage to six.
Collin Forgey then drew a walk, chasing Caringi from the game, before Geoff Soja came on and hit both Cunningham and Muha to load the bases. Kratochwill followed with a double to center that scored two runs and set the final margin of the game.
Steven Schuler came on and threw a perfect ninth to seal the victory.
Saint Joseph’s will wrap up the Big 5 Baseball Bash with a game against Temple on Sunday at 2:45 p.m.