PHILADELPHIA – St. Bonaventure and La Salle battled in a pair of pitcher's duels Saturday afternoon with the Explorers stealing game one, 3-2, in come-from-behind fashion before the Bonnies shutout the hosts, 2-0, to salvage a doubleheader split.
The Bonnies move to 4-7 in Atlantic 10 play while North Division front-runner La Salle now stands at 8-3 in conference action.
GAME 1 – La Salle 3, St. Bonaventure 2 | Box Score (PDF)
St. Bonaventure saw game one slip away in a heartbreaker as the Explorers plated two in the sixth to rally for a one-run victory in the first of two scheduled seven-inning contests.
The Bonnies scored first with a tally in the second following a La Salle fielding error after Branden Myers singled with Matthew Williams at first. The miscue allowed Williams to come all the way around for a 1-0 lead. It would be short-lived, though, as the hosts immediately tied the game on a triple from Nick O'Day that led to a sacrifice fly and a 1-1 tie.
The 2-1 score lasted until the sixth when O'Day became the hero, doubling home the tying run before moving to third on a passed ball and scoring what turned out to be the winning run on a wild pitch.
That would be the difference as Bonnies starter Elijah Baez continued to draw bad luck this season. His record dropped to 1-5 despite lowering his season ERA to 3.31 after tossing 5.1 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits.
Frank Elissalt (5-1) got the win for La Salle (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K) and Colin Kennedy earned the save with a scoreless seventh as the pair combined to limit the Bonnies to three hits.
GAME 2 – St. Bonaventure 2, La Salle 0 | Box Score (PDF)
Redshirt senior Donovan Moffat dominated the Explorers in the second game of the day, twirling a complete game shutout. He limited La Salle to just four hits while walking two and striking out six.
The only offense of the ballgame came in the first as the Bona bats staked Moffat to a lead early.
Tyler Kelder delivered a one-out single to move Brendyn Stillman to second. Both runners advanced on a balk by Explorers starter Jordan Morales and Stillman crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly from Matthew Williams. Pierce Hendershot then singled home Kelder for a two-run advantage.
That would be enough for Moffat.
La Salle stranded two in the second after a walk and a single and left another runner in scoring position following an O'Day double in the fourth. O'Day picked up another extra-base hit with a two-out two-bagger in the sixth, but was left there following a grounder to third. In the seventh, a two-out walk did no damage as Moffat closed the door.
Moffat (2-3) threw 73 of his 113 pitches for strikes, outdueling Morales who also went the distance, surrendering eight hits and two runs with eight strikeouts.
The Bonnies will look to even the series in the finale Sunday at 2 p.m.
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