Sand Sharks edge Saints by one run

Sand Sharks edge Saints by one run

College of St. Joseph's baseball team played their second doubleheader in two days against the University of South Carolina - Beaufort on Saturday, April 7. The Fighting Saints fell 7-6 in game one and 13-12 in game two.

The lead changed five times in game one. Brian Navarro doubled in the first inning, allowing John Loschiavo to score the first run of the game. The Sand Sharks evened the score in the bottom of the inning off a sacrifice groundout by Tristan Triplett. USCB took the lead in the bottom of the second when a single by McLean Hartz sent a runner on third home.

The Fighting Saints answered in the third inning. Mathew Santiago was hit by a pitch to reach base. He advanced to second off a sacrifice groundout by Loschiavo. Salvador Cimino recorded his first single of the game and allowed Santiago rounded the bases for a score. Cimino reached second on USCB's attempt to throw Santiago out at home plate.

During the next at bat, a wild pitch sent Cimino to third base. Brian Quezada then hit a ground ball to shortstop, allowing Cimino to race home and put CSJ ahead 3-2.

Beaufort recorded two hits in the bottom of the third but were unable to tally a run. The Saints went scoreless in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Cole Hamilton singled through the left side to record a RBI and tie the game at three.

With two outs in the top of the fifth, the Saints came alive. Loschiavo was first to get on base by way of an error by USCB's second baseman. He stole second base and then sprinted to third on the throw. Cimino was walked to reach first and promptly stole second base. Next to the batter's box was Quezada, whose single through the left side of the field sent both Loschiavo and Cimino home for runs.

Navarro walked and Quezada advanced. Pinch runner Jeremy Johnson replaced Quezada at second. Johnson came in ready to play and promptly advanced to third on a wild pitch by Wyatt McCampbell. Next, Benny Pena recorded a hit and a RBI when his single sent Johnson across home plate. The Fighting Saints' three fifth-inning runs gave them a 6-3 lead late in the game.

The Sand Sharks put up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 6-5 game. CSJ could not convert in the sixth inning and USCB took advantage. Beaufort had three hits and two runs in the sixth inning to take the 7-6 lead that would ultimately stick, as USCB's closer Zac Burke did his job on the mound in the final inning.

Quezada finished with three RBI and one hit for the Saints. Cimino recorded two runs, a hit and one RBI. Pena went 2-for-3 at the plate and had one RBI. Navarro notched one hit, one RBI and Loschiavo scored twice for CSJ. Luis Ramos took the loss on the mound.

In game two of the day, CSJ and USCB had a combined 29 hits and 25 runs. The Sand Sharks put up 10 runs in the final two innings for the 13-12 comeback victory. The Fighting Saints began the game with a five-run first inning.

Navarro's first hit of the game was once again a RBI double, this time allowing Cimino (who walked) to score. Pena was next to plate, and his single sent Quezada and Navarro home to put CSJ ahead 3-0. Pena would go on to score off a wild pitch later in the inning. Petar Rumora hit a double to reach base, and a Mauricio Rondon single to shortstop him home for the fifth run of the inning.

The Sand Sharks did not record a hit in the bottom of the inning but were able to score a run on a fielder's choice when the bases were loaded. CSJ starting pitcher Ryan Cumming threw two strikeouts - the first and third outs of the inning.

Navarro picked up another RBI in the second inning. Rumora grounded out to shortstop and picked up a RBI when Quezada scored on the play. In the third, Quezada sent a double to left center that sent Johnson home from third base. The Saints built their lead to 8-1 by the end of the third inning limited the Sand Sharks to just one hit through three innings.

Rumora hit his second double of the game in the fourth inning but was left standing on third base. USCB's leadoff batter grounded out and Cummings struck out the next two who stepped to the plate to conclude the fourth inning.

The Sand Sharks cut their deficit to 8-3 in the bottom of the fifth when a Noah Matthews double sent two runners home. CSJ responded with three more runs in the sixth.

Rumora hit another double,which sent Pena home for the Saints' ninth run of the game. Ernesto Figuera recorded a hit and a RBI when his single through the left side sent Rumora around the bases. A Ben Brown groundout accounted for the third run of the inning as Figuera made it home on the play. Brown's RBI put CSJ up 11-3 in the sixth. USCB went off for seven hits and six runs in the bottom of the inning to make it a 11-9 game.

In the seventh inning, Pena recorded a RBI single down the right field line. Quezada scored the run that put CSJ up 12-9. The Sand Sharks completed the comeback by was of five hits and four runs in the final inning of play.

Quezada went 3-for-4 at the plate for CSJ and also notched three runs and one RBI. Rumora had three doubles, two runs and two RBI. Pena recorded three RBI, two hits and two runs. Cimino took the loss on the mound.

The Fighting Saints play next in Massachusetts on Friday, April 13 against Fisher College at 7 p.m.