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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Walk it off


Baseball wins series with two clutch at-bats

The Saint Joseph’s University baseball team carried a four-game losing streak into their weekend series against the Richmond University Spiders from April 21-23.

The Hawks began the series with a 10-2 loss. Richmond struck immediately, scoring four runs before even the second out of the game was recorded. Graduate student Tim Ponto struggled on the mound for St. Joe’s. He tossed one inning and allowed six runs on five hits.

Freshman Jordan DiValerio threw four innings of one-run ball and senior Matt Morella pitched a shutout inning in the eighth. Unfortunately, the Spiders did string together 13 hits and 10 runs, seven of which came in the first two innings.

For the Hawks, junior Marc Giacalone and senior Peter Sitaras each contributed with two hits. Sitaras led off the seventh inning with a solo home run for one of the Hawks’ two runs. The other came when freshman Kadar Namey scored on a wild pitch in the fourth.

Game two was postponed until April 23 due to inclement weather, so the Hawks and the Spiders would face off in a double header to close the series.

Sophomore Tim Brennan started the second game for St. Joe’s, pitching a gem of a game. He went eight innings allowing just five hits, one run and no walks while striking out four. Unfortunately, he was without much run support.

The Spiders’ only run came in the second inning, but the Hawks were able to quickly answer in the third. Sitaras led the inning off with a walk and proceeded to steal second base. Junior Matt Maul singled, allowing Sitaras to score and tie the game at 1-1.

Upon Brennan’s exit, the game was still tied at one run apiece. Senior Zach DeVincenzo entered to pitch the ninth inning and retired each of the three batters he faced by way of fly balls.

In the bottom of the ninth, St. Joe’s needed just one run to score.  Sophomore Charlie Concannon singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from senior Brian Lau. Freshman Tim Johnson came on to pinch-run for Concannon. Then, with two outs, Giacalone singled up the middle to score Johnson and win the game for the Hawks by a score of 2-1.

“It was bottom nine, down by one,” Giacalone said. “I was focused on just putting the ball in play, just trying to make the defense either mess up or make an unforced error on their part. The guy [Richmond pitcher Jonathan De Marte] threw a fastball down the middle and [I] just forced it right back up through the middle. Off the bat, I knew it was getting through and I had a real good feeling that Tim Johnson was coming from second and scoring right away.”

The rubber match began about a half hour after the conclusion of game two. Junior Justin Aungst was on the mound to start for St. Joe’s. He finished five full innings, giving up four hits and no runs. Sophomore Lucas Rollins, who was originally scheduled to pitch in game one prior to the early deficit, closed the final four innings for the Hawks and allowed three hits and no runs.

St. Joe’s scored the first and only run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Sitaras pulled a ball in the air down the right field line that just stayed fair for a home run.

“I had a pretty good feeling,” Sitaras said. “I got really fortunate. I think the wind really helped keeping it fair. The fact that our pitchers kept us in the game when we had two hits until that point and scored just one run the whole game is pretty impressive. It was a good win.”

Despite scoring just one run on three hits, the Hawks were able to hang on for a 1-0 victory thanks to stellar pitching from Aungst and Rollins.

“We’ve pitched well,” said Head Coach Fritz Hamburg. “I’ve been very pleased with the way we’ve pitched in the weekends. Our numbers, our team ERA. This was a huge day just to give us a leg to stay in the race for the A-10 tournament. We really needed today to stay in it.”

St. Joe’s will travel to Atlantic 10 leader Virginia Commonwealth University on April 28 for a three-game series.

“We go to VCU next weekend,” Hamburg said. “They’re playing well. They’re a real good ball club. They pitch really well, so I expect the series to be very similar to what it’s been the last couple weekends.”

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