MERION STATION, PA. 4/13/2013 – In the game of baseball sometimes the ball finds the open spot in the field. Such was the case for the LaSalle Explorers as they got 21 hits en route to a 10 – 2 win over the host Saint Joseph’s Hawks at Smithson Field. LaSalle shortstop Kevin Baron and designated hitter Joey Ravert led the team with 4 hits apiece.
There are times when you hit the ball hard, but it may be right at someone or hit the base. Saint Joseph’s got 9 hits, but could only push 2 runs across the plate both in the 6th inning.
“We seemed to hit the ball where they weren’t,” said LaSalle Coach Mike Lake. “Our kids put a lot of consistent hits together.”
LaSalle played station-to-station baseball. Of the 21 hits by the Explorers 15 were singles, two were triples. Of the four doubles hit by LaSalle 2 were ground rule doubles. many if the hits were opposite field hits or just out of the reach of the Saint Joe’s fielders. The visitors scored in 7 of 9 innings, but got no more than 2 runs at a time. First baseman Mike Williams had 3 runs batted in and hit a double and a triple. Ravert batted in 2 runs and had a triple. Each LaSalle starter had at least one hit.
“You have to give them credit,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Fritz Hamburg. “They had 21 hits and some found holes. We had some opportunities that we didn’t cash in on. They extended and that was the story of the game.”
Saint Joseph’s got extra base hits from right fielder Collin Forgey, first baseman Mike Muha, and left fielder Chris Hueth, all doubles. Muha was 3 – 4 at the plate, while Hueth was 2 – 4, scored a run, and an RBI. Shortstop Anthony Cirillo plated the other Hawk run.
Left-handed pitcher Shawn O’Neill went 6.2 innings to get his third win of the season against four losses. O’Neill gave up 8 hits and both runs. He struck out two and walked two. Lake felt his starter battled his way to the win.
“It was gutty,” said Lake. “He didn’t have his A-Game, but he hung in there, threw strikes, and got ahead. He battled and that tells you what kind of heart he is made with.”
Jordan Carter took the loss for Saint Joseph’s giving up 13 hits and 7 runs, 5 earned, and fanned 3. He was a victim of the seeing-eye hits by LaSalle.
“He was around the zone all day,” said Hamburg. “The ground ball base hits were what we were looking for. If those weren’t in the holes, they’re at people and we collect outs. That’s his M.O. (Carter), and he’s made strides this year. It
was one of those days.”
LaSalle improves to 7 – 4 in Atlantic 10 play. Saint Joseph’s evens their record at 17 and is 5 – 3 in conference. Both teams hope to get to the conference tournament. The win gives the Explorers an advantage over the Hawks as they look to making the tournament.
“We’re in the midst with the Atlantic 10 and that’s what counts,” Lake said. “The league is everything. We’re a little young and trying to get the kids to mature and work hard together.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian