ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – An 11-run explosion between the seventh and eighth innings sent the St. Bonaventure baseball team to a game one victory before taking a pitcher's duel in the nightcap to sweep La Salle in an Atlantic 10 doubleheader by scores of 14-5 and 3-2 Friday afternoon at Fred Handler Park.
Sam Fuller had a day to remember at the plate, going 8-for-9 with four extra-base hits to power the Bonnies offense. The wins improved the Bonnies to 3-2 in Atlantic 10 play.
GAME 1 – St. Bonaventure 14, La Salle 5 | Box Score (PDF)
La Salle (13-14, 0-5 A-10) had an early lead after three runs in the fourth, but the Bonnies would chip away.
In the fifth, a bunt from Fuller allowed Jeff Palczewski to score with the first Bona run of the contest.
The Bonnies tied the game with two in the sixth – Tyler Kelder led off the inning with a home run to straight away center field over the 402' sign to make it a one-run game. Later in the frame, Matthew Williams reached on an error and came in to score on a hit to left from Kevin Higgins.
La Salle broke the tie in the seventh on a two-out hit from Nick O'Day, scoring a pair for a 5-3 advantage.
That lead would be short-lived, however.
In the seventh, the Bonnies batted around and plated seven runs to break the game open.
The biggest blow came off the bat of Brandon Henshaw – the senior stepped to the plate with the Bonnies trailing by a run following an RBI single from Kelder. Henshaw put the Bonnies on top with a homer to right, a three-run shot just over the fence that put the Bonnies on top for good.
Two more runs scored on a Fuller double and yet another on a wild pitch as the Bonnies came roaring back.
Bona scored four more times in the eighth, three on a no-doubt blast to left from Higgins, his first homer as a Bonnie.
Braydon Nelson started and went six innings on the hill, allowing two earned runs while striking out four. Joshua Pittman earned his first career win with an inning of work out of the bullpen. Donovan Moffat worked the final two innings and did not allow a baserunner.
Higgins had two hits and four RBIs in the victory.
GAME 2 – St. Bonaventure 3, La Salle 2 | Box Score (PDF)
A fielding error from La Salle in the bottom of the eighth allowed the winning run to score and send the Bonnies to victory.
Fuller again set the table in the eighth with a leadoff triple to the right centerfield gap. After La Salle reliever Connor Hinchliffe picked up two outs, it seemed as though the Explorers would get out of trouble on a bouncing ball on the right side. The ball hopped off the first baseman's chest, sending Fuller home for a 3-2 lead.
Moffat worked around a two-out single for a scoreless ninth to earn the save.
Bona led early thanks to the run-scoring combination of Fuller and Kelder – Fuller led off the first with a double and moved to third on a fly ball. He scored on a hit from Kelder for a 1-0 edge and would set the table again in the third with a leadoff triple. Kelder followed with a sac fly for a two-run advantage.
The 2-0 lead stood until the sixth when O'Day doubled home a pair of runs to tie things up.
In the eighth, the tie remained when Fuller again led off with a triple. A line out and strikeout left him at third when the game-deciding error occurred.
Tyler Germanowski got the start and struck out nine in six innings, allowing two runs on five hits with one walk.
Murphy O'Brien (1-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings out of the bullpen and Moffat registered the save by working the ninth.
Fuller had a perfect 4-for-4 line, scoring all three Bona runs in the second game.
The Bonnies and Explorers finish up the series Saturday at noon.
- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications
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