KYLE MULLEN BREAKS SAINT JOSEPH’S CAREER STRIKEOUT RECORD AS SJU BASEBALL TOPS TEMPLE, 8-3, TO BEGIN ATLANTIC 10 PLAY
Hawks Open Conference Slate with Win for Fifth Straight Season
AMBLER, Pa. – Senior righthander Kyle Mullen (Berwyn, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) broke the Saint Joseph’s record for career strikeouts on Friday afternoon as the SJU baseball team kicked off its Atlantic 10 slate with an 8-3 win over Temple at Skip Wilson Field. Mullen fanned five on the day, and his career total now stands at 216.
Mullen eclipsed the record of 212, which had been held by Saint Joseph’s Athletics Hall of Famer John Butz for 47 years, when he caught Tyler Elko looking to end the bottom of the sixth inning.
“I’m honored,” said Mullen. “Doing something like that is something I could have only dreamed about.”
“That record has stood for a long time,” said head coach Fritz Hamburg. “It’s a real tribute to him and his ability to pitch.”
Mullen struggled in the first inning as Temple (7-10 overall, 0-1 Atlantic 10) jumped out to an early lead when Henry Knabe hit a two-run double to left before coming in to score on a wild pitch to give Temple a 3-0 advantage after one.
Saint Joseph’s (9-11 overall, 1-0 Atlantic 10) equalized right away, hanging a three-spot on the board in the top of the second. Brian O’Keefe led off with a single and advanced to second when Chris Hueth was hit by a pitch. After a pair of fly outs, Anthony Cirillo ripped a double to left center to bring SJU back within one. Quinn Renner then hit a groundball that was thrown away, allowing Cirillo to score and tie the game.
At that point, Mullen settled in, allowing just one runner past first base over the next seven innings. The Hawks gave him a lead in the six, breaking out for a four-run frame.
O’Keefe and Hueth started things off once again with a double and a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Greg Kumpel was hit by a pitch to load the bases for John Brue, whose sacrifice fly scored O’Keefe to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead. Cirillo followed with a single to score Hueth; an error on the play allowed Kumpel to cross the plate as well and push the lead to three.
Renner then doubled to the gap in left, scoring Cirillo from first to make it a 7-3 game.
Cirillo drove in his fourth run of the game in the eighth with a double to left to bring in Kumpel and close out the scoring.
Mullen allowed five hits and walked three over eight innings. With the win, he improves to 3-3 on the season and moves into a tie for fourth place on the school’s all-time wins list.
Patrick Peterson took the loss for Temple, allowing six runs, five earned, on six hits in five and a third innings. He falls to 1-3.
Cirillo finished the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI. O’Keefe added three hits and two runs scored as well.
The win give the Hawks a win in their conference opener for the fifth consecutive season.
The series will continue on Saturday afternoon. First pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. at Skip Wilson Field.