PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Pa.–A dramatic game-ending double play sealed a 6-5 extra-inning win over Villanova for the Saint Joseph’s baseball team at Villanova Ballpark on Tuesday afternoon.
Matt Maul led off the top of the 10th with his third single of the afternoon and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brian Markoski. After an intentional walk to Charlie Concannon, Brian Lau followed with a single to left to give the Hawks a 6-5 lead.
In the bottom of the frame, the Wildcats loaded the bases with one out after a single, double, and intentional walk to bring up Lukas DiRenzi. DiRenzi lined a shot up the middle that was snared by Taylor Boyd, who stepped on the bag at second to end the ballgame.
Villanova (6-18) threatened in the first with a walk and a pair of singles, but Tim Johnson came up throwing on a single to left and Brian Lau held on for the tag to retire Donovan May at the plate to end the innings and keep the game scoreless.
Instead, it was Saint Joseph’s (10-15) that went ahead in the top of the third. Maul led off with his a single and went to third on an error as a result of a fielder’s choice by Deon Stafford, Jr. Concannon followed with a deep fly ball into foul territory down the left field line that was caught, but Maul was able to score on the sacrifice fly and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Stafford then stole second, and two batters later, Dominic Cuoci singled to right to bring him home and double the Hawk advantage.
A three-run fourth extended the Hawk margin to five. Kadar Namey was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame before heading to third on a single to right by Marc Giacalone; Giacalone then went to second on the throw to put runners at second and third for Tim Johnson. Johnson the skied a fly ball to shallow right, but Villanova second baseman Todd Czinege couldn’t hold it, allowing Namey to score and make it a 3-0 game.
Maul followed with an RBI groundout to bring home Giacalone, and two batters later, Concannon hit another sacrifice fly to score Johnson and push the lead to 5-0.
The Wildcats finally broke through in the sixth, putting runners on second and third with two down for Timothy Lilly, whose single to center scored JP Radvany to make it 5-1. David Gulati followed with a single of his own to bring home Doug deMarrais and cut the lead to three, but Joey Gorman came on and induced a groundout from Tyler Bruno to end the inning.
Villanova added another in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Radvany before a two-run home run by Gulati in the eighth tied the game at 5-5.
Cuoci tossed the final two innings on the mound for his first win of the season. Jason Applegate took the loss to fall to 1-1.
The Hawks return to conference play on Thursday at Fordham. First pitch in the series opener is set for 2:00 p.m.