MERION STATION, Pa. – Five Hawks notched multi-hit games and Jordan Carter tossed seven innings of four-hit ball as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team clinched a share of the Big 5 Baseball Bash title with an 11-3 triumph over Temple. Brian O'Keefe scored four runs in the game, while Chris Hueth crossed the plate three times for SJU.
Saint Joseph’s (5-4) took the lead in the first inning and never looked back. Hueth led off the game with a walk and stole second base before scoring on a single by O’Keefe. O’Keefe then advanced to third on a single by Collin Forgey; he came in to score when Forgey stole second and TU catcher Michael D’Acunti’s throw sailed into center field.
Mike Muha led off the second with a double down the right field line and later came in to score on a throwing error to make it a 3-0 game. Tommy Cunningham tacked on an RBI single in the fourth to score O’Keefe and extend the advantage to 4-0 after three.
Carter retired 14 straight hitters from the first to the sixth, but Temple (3-8) tallied a pair of runs in the sixth to get back into the game. An RBI groundout by Daniel Dragos and a wild pitch cut the Hawk edge to 4-2.
The home nine responded in the bottom half of the frame, plating four runs to push the advantage to 8-2. With the bases loaded, O’Keefe singled through the left side before Forgey reached on an error that scored Ryan Pater and restored the four-run margin. Stefan Kancylarz added a sacrifice fly before O’Keefe came in on a passed ball to extend the lead to six.
Saint Joseph’s put the game away in the eighth, tacking on three insurance runs. Forgey lashed a double to right to score Hueth, and three batters later, Muha hit a bases-loaded single to score O’Keefe and Forgey and close out the scoring for SJU.
The Owls added a singleton in the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Frank D’Agostino.
Carter allowed two runs on four hits in seven innings, striking out five against just one walk, to improve to 2-1 on the season. Simon Mathews took the loss for Temple after allowing four runs on five hits and two walks in two-plus innings of work.
O’Keefe finished the game 2-for-3 with four runs scored and two more driven in, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Hueth, O’Keefe, and Cunningham also extended their personal on-base streaks in the game; Hueth and O’Keefe have reached in 22 and 16 consecutive games, respectively, dating back to last season, while Cunningham has reached base in all nine games thus far in 2014.
With the win, Saint Joseph’s shares the 2014 Big 5 Baseball Bash championship with both the Owls and Villanova. All three teams posted 2-1 records over the course of the tournament.
The Hawks will now hit the road for four games in Florida. Saint Joseph’s will meet Georgetown three times and Iowa once in Port Charlotte; the first game of the trip will feature the Hawks and the Hoyas going head-to-head on Wednesday, March 12, at 2:30 p.m.