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April 5, 2013

Mullen Gets Fifth Win; O’Keefe Drives in Three

MERION STATION, Pa. – Senior righthander Kyle Mullen (Berwyn, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep)tossed seven solid innings and sophomore catcher Brian O’Keefe (Albany, N.Y./South Colonie)had two hits and three runs batted in as the Saint Joseph’s baseball team topped St. Bonaventure, 8-4, at Smithson Field on Friday afternoon.

Mullen allowed three runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out seven to earn the win. He allowed just one runner past first base over the final four innings of his outing.

O’Keefe’s eighth-inning bases-clearing double to left center broke open a tight game, pushing the Hawk lead to 8-3 with nobody out in the inning. The reigning Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Player of the Week, O’Keefe pushed his hitting streak to six games.

St. Bonaventure (7-13) took an early lead, going in front 1-0 on a ground-rule double by Joel Rosencrance in the top of the second.

Saint Joseph’s (14-15) hung a three-spot on the board in the bottom half of the frame to take the lead. Chris Hueth reached via an error and promptly stole second third base before scoring on a single by Greg Kumpel to tie the game. After John Brue and Anthony Cirillo were hit by consecutive pitches to load the bases, Quinn Renner reached on an error and Stefan Kancylarz added an RBI groundout to put the Hawks ahead, 3-1.

The Bonnies equalized in the top of the third, scoring on a groundout by Thad Johnson and a single by Nick Lohrer to tie the game at 3-3.

In the home half of the inning, Cirillo laid down a bunt with one out and runners at the corners that scored Hueth with the go-ahead run that put the Hawks back on top, 4-3.

Both pitchers settled down after that, as Mullen allowed just one hit after the third inning and SBU’s Andrew Revello retired nine straight batters between the third and the sixth. The Hawks did touch up Revello for one more run as Kancylarz was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the sixth to double the SJU advantage to two.

After three straight singles from Collin Forgey, Kancylarz, and Mike Muha to lead off the eighth, O’Keefe’s rocket to left center cleared the bases and extended the lead to 8-3.

Rosencrance scored the final run of the game for Bonnies, hitting a double to right before advancing on an infield single and scoring on an error with two outs.

Mullen improved to 5-3 on the season, while Revello fell to 2-4. Lansing Veeder made his second appearance of the season, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk while striking out two in two innings of relief.

The teams will continue the series on Saturday afternoon. First pitch at Smithson Field is set for1:00 p.m. The weekend set does not count in the Atlantic 10 standings; both teams are on their scheduled bye weeks from conference play.