May 25, 2012
BRONX, N.Y. - Saint Joseph's junior Kyle Mullen tossed eight innings and notched a career-best 12 strikeouts, tying Jamie Moyer's single-season record of 90 for the year, but the Hawk baseball team ultimately fell to Dayton, 4-3, in 13 innings at the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship early Friday morning at Houlihan Park.
The start of the game, originally slated for 3:30 p.m., was delayed until 7:30 p.m. by storms that pushed back the start of the day's first game. More rain then pushed first pitch back to 9:15 p.m., and the extra-inning affair concluded around 12:45 a.m. Friday morning.
Mullen scattered 10 hits and walked three as he tied the record set by Moyer in 1984. In the game, Mullen also became the first Hawk hurler to cross the 100-inning plateau for a season.
Saint Joseph's (24-31) struck first, scoring twice in the top of the fourth inning. With one out and Brian O'Keefe on first base, Stefan Kancylarz ripped a triple to left field to plate the game's first run. Lansing Veeder followed with a double to left center to score Kancylarz and double the Hawk advantage to 2-0.
Dayton (29-28) cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth as Ian Hundley's two-out single to right scored Zach Stewart to make it a 2-1 game.
The Flyers equalized two innings later and it was Hundley again with a two-out single, this time scoring Robby Sunderman to knot the game at two apiece.
It remained there through the eighth when the Flyers loaded the bases with two outs, but Mullen fanned Sunderman to keep the game tied.
In the ninth, O'Keefe led off with a single to left and was sacrificed over to second by Kancylarz. Two batters later, after UD starter Mike Hauschild was lifted in favor of Burny Mitchem, Anthony Cirillo laced a double down the right field line to score O'Keefe and put the Hawks on top.
With two outs and two on in the ninth, C.J. Gillman hit a 2-2 pitch from Steven Schuler into center field to tie the game.
SJU had a prime opportunity in the top of the 10th, putting runners on first and second with nobody out, but Mitchem induced a double play ball to escape the threat.
After Mike Muha recorded two quick outs in the 13th, Sunderman legged out a double before Josh Jeffery singled up the middle to drive in the winning run.
Mullen and Hauschild engaged in an outstanding duel, as Hauschild went eight and a third innings, allowing three runs on six hits while walking two and striking out eight. Mullen allowed 10 hits, all singles, through his eight innings.
Schuler pitched well in relief for SJU, allowing just the single to Gillman in three and two-thirds.
Mitchem went four and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out five, to improve to 6-7 on the year. Muha fell to 4-3.
The Hawks return to Houlihan Park at 11:00 a.m. on Friday morning for an elimination game against Rhode Island. The winner will face Saint Louis in a game later on Friday afternoon, while the loser will be eliminated from the Championship.