PRINCESS ANNE, MD.- The Saint Peter's University baseball team (3-4) finished day two of the UMES Tournament with a split against the home team, Hawks (1-9), and Cornell (2-1). The Peacocks defeated UMES by a score of 7-4 in the front end of today's doubleheader and dropped a 3-2 decision in the nightcap.
Reigning NJCBA Division I Rookie of the Week John Leiter (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) pitched five innings in his first career start to garner the win. Leiter gave up six hits, three earned runs, five walks and struck out four.
Junior catcher James Smith (Hatfield, Pa./North Penn) finished 2-for-4 from the plate, drove in two runs and scored one, while Matt Mancini (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.
The Peacocks utilized a five-run first inning to generate all the offense they would need against the Hawks. Manicini opened up the contest with a single and moved to third on an extra-base hit by teammate William Rawson (Asburn, Va./Broad Run) . Sophomore Nicholas Henriquez (Paramus, N.J./Paramus) would then drive home Mancini with a single to center.
A throwing error by the Hawks' pitcher allowed Rawson to cross the plate and make the score 2-0. In the next at bat, senior first baseman Chris Grimes (Iselin, N.J./JFK) walked to set the stage for a two-RBI double by Smith (4-0). A single by Brian Schroeder (Iselin, N.J./JFK) in the next at bat drove home the final run of the inning for the visitors.
UMES threatened to come back, scoring two in the second, but Saint Peter's added two insurance runs in the fourth to reestablish separation. Simiarly to the first, Mancini singled on to set the stage for the Peacocks. The center fielder later scored on an infield hit by Matt Speckmann (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill West). Henriquez also scored on the play (7-2), after getting on base by a hit by pitch.
The Hawks tacked on a single run in the fifth and added a final marker in the ninth with two outs, before freshman Jeffrey Miller (Churchville, Pa./Council Rock South) forced Dylan Bell to ground out and end the contest (7-4).
Senior Adam Purcilly (Troy, Mich./Avondale) pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Peacocks and gave up just two hits in his first appearance of the season.
In game two, the Peacocks looked to defeat the defending Ivy League champions for the second time in as many days, but were unable to maintain a 2-0 advantage.
Saint Peter's led the Big Red 2-0 after back-to-back RBI base hits by Speckmann and Smith created an early lead in the top of the fourth.
Henriquez singled on with one out, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before Speckmann brought him home with a single to left. Speckmann then stole second to put himself in scoring position for Smith's base hit to center field.
The Big Red managed to score a run during their turn at bat to slice the Peacocks' lead in half, but could not get any closer in the inning. Cornell did however manage to tie the game in the eighth on a passed ball, and ultimately garnered the win in the ninth on a walk-off single by JD Whetsel.
Speckmann led the Peacocks from the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Reliever Kevin Croucher (Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic) received the loss for Saint Peter's; going 1.2 innings and giving up two runs (one earned) and four hits.
Starting pitcher Mathew Yuhas (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Boro) finished the night with a no-decision. Yuhas went seven innings and gave up eight hits, one walk and one earned run while striking out five.
The Peacocks were out-hit by the Big Red, 12-7.
Saint Peter's concludes the tournament tomorrow with a single game against UMES at 2:30pm.