Davidson Pitcher Blake Hely Goes The Distance in 6 – 0 Win
MERION STATION, PA. /13/2022 –
Blake Hel pitched a full nine innings and did not allow a run in the game. Hely gave up 5 hits, walked one and struck out 6 improving his record to 9 – 0 for the season. It was the first complete game of the season for Hely. He had five one-two-three innings in the effort, and improves his ERA to 2.64. The Wildcats improve to 17 – 3 in the Atlantic 10 and close in on getting the number one seed in the league tournament. For Hely and the Davidson staff the key is throwing strikes.
“One thing they do as a pitching staff is that they throw all three pitches for strikes,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Fritz Hamburg. “When we’re in a positive count, they’re still making good pitches. Even down 3 – 0 or 3 – 1 they’re making pitches. They’ve been in control the past two games. We’ve got to do something to disrupt their timing, and we haven’t been successful at that.”
Hawks Offense Could Not Get The Key Hit
Saint Joseph’s got two rallies going in the game, but Hely and the defense got Davidson out of trouble.
In the third inning the Hawks had some offense brewing. Left Fielder Brett Callahan had runners on first and second with one out. He lined a shot that was snared by Wildcats first baseman Ryan Wilson. Saint Joe’s first baseman Brandon Drapeau went too far off second base and was caught for an inning ending double play.
Saint Joseph’s got something going in the fifth inning getting runners on second and third with one out. Hely got Hawks shortstop Luca Trigiani to pop-up to third, then got second baseman Liam Bendo to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.
“We can’t give away outs on the base paths especially against a team like them because they are making pitches and playing confident, Hamburg said. “They’ve had a few miscues, but when they do, their pitchers make the pitches and shut the inning off. They haven’t given us much of an opportunity to get anything going.”
For the game SJU left 7 runners on base.
Davidson Offense More Efficient
The Wildcats got all the runs they needed in the first inning when right fielder Trevor Candelaria homered to left field, his 9th of the year. Shortstop Jacob Hinderleider hit his 11th round tripper of the season, a two-run shot to left field in the fifth inning.
Davidson manufactured runs in the third and fourth frames. Second Baseman Jake Wilhoit got on base via an infield single. He got to third, then scored on a sacrifice fly caught by Bendo, but his momentum took in into shallow right field. Wihoit tagged-up and made it home safely. In the fourth Hinderleider got on base via an error and scored on a double to left field by third baseman John Hosmer. He would get home on back-to-back sacrifice fly balls . The Wildcats had two runs on one hit.
Hawks hurler Luke Smith took the loss (4 – 5) going 3.2 innings giving up 4 runs, 2 earned, and 4 hits. Mike Falco pitched 3.1 innings in relief giving up 2 runs and 2 hits. He struck out 3 batters. Peter Gallo and Luke Gabrysh went one scoreless inning each. Saint Joseph’s pitchers walked 7 and struck out 7.
Center Fielder Brendan Hueth went 2 of 4 with a pair of singles. He also reached base on an error.
Saint Joseph’s (9 – 10) looks to avoid the sweep in the series closer on Saturday. The Hawks face an important game.
“It’s huge, they’re all huge at this point,” Hamburg said. “We’ve got to flush these past two days, we’ve got to go at them tomorrow, keep swinging, keep competing.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian