Radwan, Grieco Supply Late-Inning Heroics In Sweep Of Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – St. Bonaventure junior Jason Radwan delivered a game-winning two-run single in the 12th inning of game one of a doubleheader at Charlotte Friday evening, and senior Michael Grieco followed suit with a pinch hit, game-winning three-run home run in the 9th inning of the nightcap to lead the Bonnies to a sweep of the 49ers, 4-2 and 6-3, respectively.
With the wins, the Bonnies (23-24, 10-13 Atlantic 10 Conference) move within one victory of finishing the season at .500 for the second straight year. Charlotte (20-32, 8-14 A-10) entered the year as the preseason favorite to win the conference title.
With two outs and the bases empty in the Bona portion of the 12th inning in game one, Derek Morgan was hit by a pitch to start the SBU rally. Michael Meredith followed by laying down a perfect bunt up the third-base line and both Meredith and pinch runner Bret Heath moved up a base following Eric Jutca's walk. That set the stage for Radwan, who sent an 0-1 offering through the left side of the infield to give Bonaventure its first win at Charlotte since May 11, 2007.
In game two, Grieco – who caught game one – came to bat for Nick Lohrer in the 9th with Nick Brennen on second base and Meredith on first. The right-handed hitting New Jersey native sent a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall for just his third home run of the season, giving the Bonnies their third all-time win at Charlotte in eight tries.
Redshirt junior Eddie Gray (4-3) kept the Bonnies in the second contest as he delivered his first complete game of the season, limiting the 49ers – the A-10's second-best offense – to just seven hits and three runs (two earned) over his nine frames. The southpaw struck out four and allowed just one extra-base hit on the night.
In game one, senior Jordan Crane pitched nine innings and allowed just two runs, but left with a no-decision. Junior Billy Urban (2-1) picked up the win after entering from third base and tossing two shutout innings in which he allowed two hits. Freshman Cameron Carney earned his first save as he struck out the side in the bottom of the 12th while scattering one hit.
Urban and fellow juniors Austin Ingraham and Meredith each collected two hits in game one as part of SBU's nine hits in the contest. In game two, Radwan and senior Ryan Skellie both pounded out a pair of hits.
The Bonnies started the double-dip by plating a run in the 1st inning of game one. Jutca led off the game with a double and later scored on an infield single to the shortstop by Urban.
Charlotte answered with a run in the 2nd and 3rd innings off Crane to take a 2-1 lead, but the right-hander shut the 49ers down after that.
SBU knotted the game in the 6th inning on a sacrifice fly by Grieco which scored Urban, who had led off the inning with a single up the middle.
In game two, the 49ers scored in the 1st inning and added an unearned run in the 5th inning to take a 2-0 advantage before the Bonnies cut into the deficit with a Skellie single in the 6th to plate Radwan, who had singled through the left side.
Charlotte added a run in the 8th which looked like it would provide enough insurance until Grieco's heroics in the 9th. The Bonnies then added a pair of insurance runs of their own to complete the five-run 9th inning.
St. Bonaventure and Charlotte are scheduled to conclude the series and both of their respective seasons on Saturday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. with sophomore Asa Johnson expected to get the start on the mound for the Bonnies.