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ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure baseball team (18-25, 8-13 Atlantic 10 Conference) erased a four-run deficit, and on a Joel Rosencrance two-RBI double in the 8th-inning claimed a 7-5 victory over La Salle (23-24, 15-6 A-10) on Senior Day at Fred Handler Park Saturday afternoon.
After falling behind 4-0 following the top of the 3rd, Bona starter Asa Johnson settled down and the SBU offense scored one run in five straight innings from the 3rd to the 7th and then scored twice in the 8th to avoid the series sweep at the hands of La Salle.
On Senior Day, it was freshman pitcher Drew Teller who earned his first collegiate win in relief, with senior Billy Urban getting the save. At the plate, Bonaventure seniors Eric Jutca, Jason Radwan and Austin Ingraham each had two hits, with Urban collecting three hits and Michael Meredith adding an RBI double. Urban, Ingraham and Radwan both had an RBI for the Brown and White, who won their sixth straight season finale at McGraw-Jennings Field.
Bonaventure had taken a 5-4 lead in the 7th, but La Salle re-tied the outing in the 8th before Rosencrance's ground-rule double to right field which scored Jutca and Radwan, who singled and walked, respectively, before being moved up a base on a passed ball.
La Salle took a 2-0 lead after 2 innings with two separate two-out, two-strike runs in the 1st and 2nd innings – one a home run and the other a double off the wall. The Explorers tacked on two more on a triple into the right-center gap in the 3rd to take a 4-0 advantage.
The Bonnies started their comeback in the 3rd when Radwan sent a sacrifice fly to right to plate Meredith, who began the frame by working a walk. It continued to chip away in the next inning, and once again the run came courtesy of a sacrifice fly to right, this time by pinch hitter Mark Hutmacher. In the 4th, Urban singled through the left side to bring the Bonnies within one, 4-3.
SBU tied the game in the 6th on Meredith's double inside the left-field line, bring around Nick Lohrer, who walked and was advanced to second on senior pinch hitter John DiMartino's perfectly-executed sac bunt. It was only DiMartino's second at bat of the season. Bona's then took the lead in the 7th on Ingraham's hard-hit single off the first baseman to plate Urban from second base.
Johnson made his sixth start of the year and was credited with a no-decision after tossing 6.2 innings, scattering six hits and allowing those four runs. He gave way with no one on base to senior Robert Nalepa, who faced one batter and made just his fourth appearance of the year and first since March 23.
Steven Klimek relieved Nalepa and worked out of the 7th before allowing the tying run in the 8th. Teller earned the win by tossing 1 inning, working around two hits and walk. Urban moved from third base to the mound to get the save after Teller retired the first batter of the 9th.
St. Bonaventure returns to action Tuesday against Big 4 rival University at Buffalo in a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. From there, the Bonnies conclude the season in New York City for a three-game series versus the Fordham Rams on Thursday and Friday.
NOTES: Head coach Larry Sudbrook used 18 different players … freshman Tommy Styn played third base when Urban went to pitch … all six of Urban's pitches were strikes … Radwan's average remains above .400 at .406 following his 2-3 effort … Rosencrance's double came off Pat Christensen, who has 43 career saves – the sixth most in the history of college baseball … Thad Johnson laid down two sacrifice bunts … all nine of SBU's seniors (including pitcher Eddie Gray and manager Mike Fioravanti) took their Final Lap around the McGraw-Jennings basepaths after the game.