MERION STATION, PA. 3/31/2012 – According to the box score it was a cold, misting, miserable day at the Saint Joseph’s Maguire Campus. It was and the type of day where speed on the base paths would make the difference. The Rhode Island Rams had that as center fielder Jeff Roy scored 3 runs, the first of the game, and the winning run on a sacrifice fly by catcher Milan Adams as the Rams win 5 – 4 in 10 innings. Saint Joseph’s Junior right hander Kevin Burum pitched to two batters in the 10th inning, and got them out. However, one of those outs was the game-winning sacrifice fly which gave him the loss.
“The ball wasn’t carrying and with that their speed came into play,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Fritz Hamburg. “That’s a big part of their game. Right out of the gate the bunt that should have been fielded and an out, but he (Roy) gets on and scores a run with it. The same kid that scored the winning run in the last inning with a walk. If we had taken care of what we needed to we would have come out on the other end of it.”
It was that type of day where small ball would rule. Rhode Island started with a run in the fist when Roy beat out the bunt down the third base line. He would score from third on a single to right by designated hitter Pat Quinn. The Rams scored another run in the 5th when first baseman Jeff Cammans doubled to left and scored when second baseman Pat Fortunato singled to right putting Rhode Island in front 2 – 0. Saint Joseph’s scratched out a run in their half of the 5th inning. With the bases loaded second baseman Quinn Renner walked scoring first baseman Kevin Taylor with none out. However, Taylor would be the only Hawk player to cross the plate that inning as Rhode Island starter Nick Narodowy got the next two batters, then reliever Brendan Doonan got the next three batters to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Saint Joseph’s starter Alex Pracher kept battling. In his 6 innings of work Pracher gave up 12 hits, but only 2 runs, struck out 4 and walked 1 facing 31 batters. For the game Rhode Island stranded 16 runners. Hamburg felt he was not as effective in this game.
“Today’s game wasn’t his best,” Hamburg said. “He struggled to loosen up with this weather. He wasn’t as sharp as he has been. He is always around the zone, but his stuff usually has an edge to it. He gutted it out and gave us a chance to win.”
The Hawks finally broke through in the 7th inning. It was their only threat since the 3rd inning when Freshman left fielder Lansing Veeder was thrown out trying to score. In the 7th right fielder Junior right fielder Greg Kumpel doubled to left center off relief pitcher Joe Landi. Three runners scored, but Kumpel was thrown out trying to take third to end the inning. But his 3 RBI’s put the Hawks in front 4 – 2.
Rhode Island took the lead back with 2 in the 8th inning. Roy beat out an infield single sending short stop Tim Caputo to third base. Left fielder Chris Famigletti worked a walk off Hawks Sophomore left hander Steven Schuler. Cammans followed with a single to left scoring Caputo and Roy to tie the game at 4.
In the 10th Roy walked, took second on a bunt, then went to third on an infield single off Sophomore right-handed reliever Mike Muha. Roy scored on the sacrifice fly for the final margin of victory. Rhode Island relief pitcher Mike Bradstreet put down three of four Hawk batters in the 1oth inning to get the win.
“We expect our guys to be able to hold that up (the lead), and we’ve been good at that,” Hamburg said. “We had the lead, and we had opportunities to extend the lead.”
In the previous game Saint Joseph’s won their second straight game against Rhone Island, They had lost the previous 20 games before that. This loss was frustrating. Now, the Hawks need to start a new winning streak on Sunday.
“They (Rhode Island) left 16 runners on and had 16 hits, just 2 doubles,” said Hamburg. “We made some good pitches, gotten out of jams, and sometimes you have to win those games. This would have been a great opportunity to do that.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian