The Saint Joseph’s Hawks baseball team put up five runs in the third inning to propel them to a 7 – 4 win over the Saint Louis Billikens in Atlantic 10 baseball at Campbell’s Field. The Hawks won the first two games of the three game series. The key to the win for Saint Joseph’s was the ability to take advantage of their offensive opportunities.
“It was nice to see because we’ve had opportunities in the last few games, and we haven’t capitalized offensively the way we want to,” said Hawks Coach Fritz Hamburg on the third inning outburst. “We did, and I was proud of the way our guys swung the bats, and ran the bases. It was a good inning for us.”
Trailing 1 – 0 entering the third the Crimson and Gray got the inning started as Sophomore Shortstop Anthony Cirillo got on base on an error by Billiken Third Baseman Travis Parker. Cirillo got the third on a double by Sophomore Catcher Eddie Palmer. Sophomore Second Baseman Quinn Renner singled to left scoring Cirillo. With one out Senior Left Fielder Mike Coleman singled to left scoring Palmer which gave the Hawks a 2 – 1 lead. Renner scored on an infield single by Sophomore Center Fielder Greg Kumpel. Freshman Right Fielder Chris Hueth brought home Coleman and Kumpel singling to center ending the scoring for the inning.
The offense generated also helped to settle starting and winning pitcher Senior Chad Simendinger who pitched five innings getting his first win of the season against two losses. The right-hander gave up the run and three of six hits in the first two innings.
“He wasn’t sharp, but he pitched well enough to keep us in the game,” said Hamburg. “Getting some runs and some support took the pressure that he had to be perfect off of him. He battled through it. It wasn’t his best outing, b ut sometimes he pitches his best and doesn’t get the win. Today, he did.”
Saint Joseph’s added a run in the fourth as an infield RBI single by Coleman scored Renner. Saint Louis scored in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly RBI by Shortstop Jon Myers. Saint Joseph’s answered in the eighth by playing small ball. Hueth was hit by a pitch and stole second. He took third on a single by Freshman Designated Hitter Cody Silverman. Hueth scored on a sacrifice squeeze bunt by Cirillo. Saint Louis scored two in the ninth.
Coleman went 3 for 4 with a run and 2 RBI’s, and Renner was 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and an RBI to lead the Hawks offensively.
“They did a great job,” said Hamburg. “Those guys have been battling through some struggles. It was great to see both of them do what they did.”
Hueth had 2 RBI’s, and Cirillo and Kumpel also had a RBI. Simendinger walked four and struck out four. Jerry Mancuso took the loss for the Billikens.
The Hawks improve to 9 – 13 on the season. The Crimson and Gray are 2 – 0 in the Atlantic 10.
“It’s great for us to get off to a good start,” said Coleman. “It’s nice to see your name at the top of the standings of the Atlantic 10. It’s great for these young guys to get a little experience as far as how to play on this level. To get confidence at the beginning of the year is big for the young guys.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian