By Anthony Caruso III
The Capital Sports Report Owner/Staff Writer
Camden – The St. Joesph’s University baseball team put an end to several streaks.
The Hawks were coming into the game on a 2-game losing streak. Marist was coming into the game on a 6-game win streak.
However, the Hawks were able to hold off the Red Foxes, 8-6, yesterday at Campbell’s Field.
“It was a huge win [yesterday],” said St. Joesph’s first baseman Kevin Taylor. “We had great pitching. Our pitching stepped up. It was a great, all-around team win.”
After St. Joseph’s University was up 8-4 in the top of the 9th inning, the Red Foxes were able to mount a little comeback. They were able to score two runs in the inning to make it 8-6.
After two singles and a strikeout, Mark Stuckey singled to left field, which scored Shane Matthews. After a balk, Ben Luderer moved to third and Stuckey moved to second. Another balk was called seconds later, which allowed Luderer to score.
“It was just one of those things,” said St. Joesph’s University’s baseball head coach Fritz Hamburg. “We have to gain the confidence to close the game out in the fashion that we want to. Although it wasn’t the easiest inning, we got through it. It was a big lift for us.”
In top of the 8th inning, St. Joseph’s University started the inning with a new pitcher, Chad Simendinger. After three straight singles to load the bases with no outs, Simendinger was able to get out of the inning with no runs.
He got Rich Curylo to line out to second base, then struck out both Ryan Gauck and Michael Gallic.
“Chad did a nice job,” said coach Hamburg. “The pitching is getting better. I was pleased with their efforts. We’re making good strides.”
In the bottom of the 7th inning, the Hawks were able to score to extra runs. They were able to make it an 8-4 lead.
Brett Tiagwad and Dewey Oriente singled to put two guys on at first and third. After a pitching change for Marist, David Valestente flew out to left field, which allowed Tiagwad to score.
Oriente moved to second base after a single by Taylor. Oriente scored after a single by Ryan Kemp.
“Those were some big extra runs,” said Taylor. “It is always good to expand your lead, especially with our pitching. Getting those extra runs help the batters and pitchers.”
In the top of the 7th inning, Marist also had another gold opportunity. Gauck doubled down the right field line. He advanced to third base on a wild pitch.
Then Gallic and Bryce Nugent both struck out swinging. After a walk to Ricky Pacione, Jon Schwind flew out to center field.
“It was great to get out of those situations [at the top of the 7th and top of the 8th innings],” said coach Hamburg. “Our pitchers challenged their hitters and we made some good pitches. It was good that we were able to keep them off the board. That was a huge plus from our pitching end.”
In the bottom of the 5th inning, St. Joseph’s had a 4-run outburst. They were able to take a 5-4 lead. After two outs, Mike Coleman singled up the middle, then stole second base.
Tiagwad walked, before Oriente singled up the midle, which scored Coleman.Valestente walked and Oriente moved to second, with Tiagwad on third. Taylor singled to right field, which scored Oriente and Tiagwad.
After a Marist pitching change, Kemp singled to left field, which scored Valesente.
“I got down 0-2,” said Taylor of his 2-RBI at-bat. “I tried to work the count after that. I got a fastball to hit with a 3-2 count. Luckily, we got two runs off of my hit. Then, we scored another run to answer their 4-run 4th inning.”
In the top of the 4th inning, Marist had their 4-run outburst. They were able to take a 4-1 lead. Pacione reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, then Schwind singled.
After an out, Mike Orefice reached base on a fielder’s choice. Schwind was thrown out, while Pacione moved to third base. Prano then tripled to center field, which scored Orefice and Pacione.
Curylo singled up the middle, wich scored Prano. After Curylo stole second base, Gauck tripled down the right field line, which scored Curylo.
“It was one of those things, where we’ve been giving the opposing team too many outs,” said coach Hamburg. “That was the case in that inning, where we’ve given them at least 7 outs in that inning. You are not going to hold down a team like Marist. They have a very good offensive approach and hit the ball hard. And when you make a mistake, like we did, they are going to capitalize on that.”
Neither pitcher went late into the game. Marist’s Chad Gallagher went 4.2 innings and allowed 5 runs. St. Joseph’s A.J. Holland went 3.2 innings and allowed 4 runs.
“We had some tough breaks early on,” said coach Hamburg. “AJ didn’t throw poorly, but he couldn’t stop their momentum, so that’s why we made the change.”
St. Joseph’s University was able to get on the scoreboard first. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, the Hawks took a 1-0 lead. Valesente reached on a fielging error by the shortstop.
Taylor also reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. Kemp reached on a field’s choice, Taylor was thrown out, and Valesente moved to third base. Drew Smith flew out to center field, which scored Valesente.
“It’s huge to get a lead against this team,” said Taylor. “They’ve been on fire lately, and were on a lengthy win streak. It was great to get ahead of them.”
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