Flyers baseball bounces back for shot at A10 Championship Game

Junior designated hitter Marcos Pujols provided the power with a 3-run home run in the Flyers’ 11-5 win over Saint Joseph’s Thursday night. Photo courtesy of the Atlantic 10 Conference on Facebook.

Peter Burtnett
Sports Editor

After dropping their opening game to Rhode Island 8-2, the Dayton Flyers baseball team bounced back to beat Saint Joseph’s 11-5 on Thursday to stay alive in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

In the opener against Rhode Island at The Diamond in Richmond, Va., the Flyers’ ace Hunter Wolfe gave up seven runs in the first two innings to put the team in a hole they couldn’t climb out of. Ultimately losing 8-2, the Flyers fell into the losing side of the A10 Tournament bracket.

But in the second game against Saint Joseph’s, who lost to VCU in the tournament’s first game, the Flyers jumped out to a big early lead by scoring six runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Senior third baseman Riley Tirotta reached first base on a one-out error, stole second, and scored after another error in graduate outfielder Chris Cabrera’s at-bat. Graduate first baseman Alex Brickman singled, and graduate outfielder Eddie Pursinger walked to load the bases.

Two runs scored on a single by senior outfielder Mitchell Garrity, and two more scored on a double by senior second baseman Mariano Ricciardi. Senior shortstop Benjamin Blackwell singled to score Ricciardi and gave the Flyers a 6-0 cushion.

The Hawks responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but a solo home run by Tirotta gave the Flyers a 7-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning. The Hawks once again had an answer, scoring two more to cut their deficit to 7-4.

In the top of the sixth, a 3-run home run by junior designated hitter Marcos Pujols scored Ricciardi and Blackwell to push the Flyers’ lead back up to six.

Both teams would add one run each, and the Flyers came away with a comfortable 11-5 win to stay alive in the A10 Tournament. The Flyers’ next game will be played at 2:30 p.m. Friday against the losing team of the match-up between VCU and Rhode Island, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game.

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