May 23, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. - Saint Joseph's graduate student Alex Pracher dazzled in the Hawks' Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship debut, tossing a five-hit shutout as the Saint Joseph's baseball team defeated Rhode Island, 3-0, on Wednesday afternoon at Fordham's Houlihan Park. Freshman Brian O'Keefe added three doubles, while senior Kevin Taylor hit his eighth home run of the season.
The Hawks loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth, but URI starter Anthony Pisani induced a popup and a strikeout to escape the jam.
Taylor's bomb to right center doubled the Hawk lead to 2-0 with two down in the top of the fifth. SJU then loaded the bases for the second straight inning, but Pisani ended the threat with a fly ball to right.
Rhode Island (32-24-1) proceeded to load the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, but Pracher got Jeff Cammans to fly out to left to keep the Rams off the scoreboard.
The advantage remained at two until the ninth, when Taylor reached on a two-out error and came around to score from first on O'Keefe's third double of the game.
Pracher then retired the Rams in order in the ninth to secure the win. He finished with five strikeouts, allowing five hits and four walks on the day, as the Hawks were victorious in their first-ever Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship appearance.
Saint Joseph's will now face Dayton on Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Live video will be available free of charge, as will live stats and streaming audio, at www.sjuhawks.com.