PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – Ryan Pater’s two-run single with two outs in the ninth tied it up, and Mike Muha’s two-out single in the 10th scored Collin Forgey with what turned out to be the winning run as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team rallied to beat Villanova, 8-6, in a Liberty Bell Classic quarterfinal at Villanova Ballpark on Tuesday.
With the win, SJU’s third straight, the Hawks will meet the winner of tomorrow’s Lafayette-Penn game in the semifinals next Tuesday.
Saint Joseph’s (13-7) took the early lead, scoring in the first inning for the fourth consecutive game. Chris Hueth led off the game and was hit by a pitch before advancing to second on a wild pitch and stealing third base. Two batters later, Forgey hit a sacrifice fly to score Hueth with the game’s first run.
Villanova (8-16) nosed ahead in the second, scoring on a passed ball and an infield single to take a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats equalized in the bottom half on a triple by Adam Goss, but an RBI double by Hueth scored Pater to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead in the fifth.
VU hung a three-spot on the board in the bottom half to take a 6-4 lead. After loading the bases with nobody out, a walk, a single, and a sacrifice fly manufactured a lead for the Wildcats.
The lead held up until the ninth. Muha and Kevin Kratochwill started the inning off with consecutive walks before Boyd laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on second and third with one out. Two batters later, Pater worked a full count before lacing a single to left to score both runners and tie the game at 6-6.
Villanova threatened to walk off in the bottom half after a lead-off double and a sacrifice bunt left a runner on third with one out. However, after intentionally walking the bases load, Steven Schuler struck out the next two hitters to send the game to extra innings.
In the 10th, Forgey doubled with one out and Cunningham followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Muha then singled to center to plate Forgey before Kratochwill followed with an RBI single of his own to score pinch runner Nate Shank and extend the lead to 8-6.
Schuler allowed a one-out single in the bottom half, but stranded the runner at first to lock down the win, improving to 2-0 on the season. Matthew Meurer fell to 1-2 for Villanova, allowing two runs on five hits in two innings.
The teams will face off once again on Wednesday, this time at Smithson Field. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.