RICHMOND, Va. – The Saint Joseph's baseball team rallied from an early hole to tie the game late, but VCU ultimately came away with a 7-6 win in the series opener between the teams at The Diamond on Friday night. In the game, the Hawks turned the fourth triple play in program history.
With Logan Farrar on second with one out in the bottom of the eighth, Steven Carpenter singled to left to give the Rams a 7-6 lead. The Hawks had a chance to tie in the top of the ninth, putting runners on the corners with one out, but Sam Donko notched a strikeout and induced a groundout to earn the win after having blown a save in the seventh.
VCU (26-15 overall, 14-2 Atlantic 10) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom half of the first. Farrar led off the game with a home run before Steven Carpenter doubled and Darian Carpenter homered to make it 3-0. After an error, three consecutive singles extended the lead to 4-0 with nobody out and the bases loaded.
That's when Dylan Isquirdo hit a line drive to Taylor Boyd at second base. Boyd fired to Matt Maul and short to double off Zac Ching before the relay to Dominic Cuoci at first beat Haiden Lamb and gave the Hawks their first triple play since February 15, 2004, which incidentally came in another game at The Diamond between Saint Joseph's and VCU.
Saint Joseph's (13-21 overall, 5-8 Atlantic 10) got on the board in the second as Cuoci hit a one-out single and scored on a double by Matt Cuppari. The Rams would get the run back in the bottom of the inning after Dane Berezo doubled, Farrar was hit by a pitch, and Mitchell Lacey added a double of his own to restore the four-run margin. Farrar tried to extend it to five, but Boyd's relay throw from Charlie Concannon beat him to the plate and Brian Lau made the tag to end the inning.
The Rams would eventually make it 6-1, however, on a sacrifice fly by Steven Carpenter in the fourth.
The Hawk offense sparked to life in the fifth. After a one-out single by Boyd and an error that allowed him to move to second, Deon Stafford, Jr., doubled down the left field line to bring home the run and make it 6-2. Concannon followed with a double to plate Stafford and cut the deficit to three, where it would stay until the seventh.
Boyd led off with a walk before Maul singled to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Two batters later, Concannon greeted Donko with his second double of the night, scoring Boyd and putting two in scoring position. Two batters after that, Cal Jadacki singled to right center as Maul and Concannon trucked home with the tying runs.
Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray, the Rams escaped with the win after Steven Carpenter's single in the eighth.
Donko improved to 2-2 on the year, while Zach DeVincenzo took the loss and fell to 2-1.
The teams will play the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m.