FAIRFAX, Va. – It was a tale of two ballgames at Spuhler Field as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team split a doubleheader at George Mason on Sunday afternoon. The Hawks took an early lead and cruised to a 9-0 win in game one, but the Patriots won a pitcher’s duel, 2-1, in the second half of the twinbill.
In the opener, Jordan Carter joined teammate Daniel Thorpe as the first Hawk pitchers to notch nine wins in a season, tossing six and two-thirds shutout innings as the Hawks blanked the Patriots, 9-0. Collin Forgey had three hits and three runs batted in and added a pair of runs scored to pace the offense.
Saint Joseph’s (32-12 overall, 17-6 Atlantic 10) opened the scoring in the third inning, hanging a four-spot on the board. After Tim Craig led off the inning with a single, Chris Hueth hit his second home run of the season to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. Brian O'Keefe followed with a single, and Forgey doubled him home to push the lead to three. Stefan Kancylarz then ripped a two-out double to score Forgey and make it a 4-0 game.
The Hawks extended the margin in the fifth, as O’Keefe was hit by a pitch and Forgey singled to put runners on the corners with nobody out. After an infield single by Tommy Cunningham loaded the bases, Mike Muha’s single to left scored two runs and pushed the lead to 6-0. An error later in the inning plated Cunningham for a 7-0 lead.
Forgey added a two-run double in the sixth, plating Craig and Hueth, to up the lead to 9-0.
Carter scattered five hits, walking two and striking out five, to improve to 9-3. He retired eight of the last nine hitters he faced and did not allow a runner past second base. Joe Manion and Ryan Kelly finished off the shutout for the Hawks, combining for two and a third innings of hitless ball.
The Hawks rapped out 15 hits, chasing Atlantic 10 ERA leader Jared Gaynor in the fifth inning. Gaynor fell to 7-4 after allowing seven runs and nine hits in four and a third innings.
Six Hawks posted multi-hit games in the opener, while four players scored two runs apiece in a balanced offensive effort.
In game two, the Hawks had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but second baseman Chris Cook made a diving stop to initiate a double play and give the Patriots a 2-1 win in the series finale.
George Mason (28-19 overall, 14-8 Atlantic 10) took the lead for the first time in the series on a two-out, two-run single by Anthony Montefusco in the bottom of the fourth.
John Williams allowed three hits while walking three and striking out two in seven shutout innings to improve to 4-2 on the season for George Mason, while Tyler Pallante fell to 0-1 for SJU, allowing two runs on four hits in three and two-thirds innings.
Saint Joseph’s closes out the regular season with a three-game series against Massachusetts at Smithson Field. First pitch in the opener is set for 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.