David Divan fired a two-hitter to earn the American Eagles a 3-1 victory over St. Jospeh's and a split of a doubleheader in their East Coast Conference opener at AU yesterday.
Pete Serpico knocked in the winning run in the 10th inning to propel the Hawks (5-5) to a 3-2 victory in the first game.
The Eagles, with two runs, had taken a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, with the help of two of the Hawks' four errors. The Eagles' second run scored when Scott Fitzgerald, a .457 hitter, blasted a single to center and intentionally got caught in a rundown to allow Bob Maxwell to score.
"I came around the bag and I was pretty sure the ball would be cut off," said Fitzgerald, leading the area with six home runs. "I decided to get hung up and hope Maxwell would pick up the play and decide to score, which fortunately he did."
But St. Joseph's rebounded in the ninth as Chris Conte walked and Leon Sendecki drove him in with a triple to make it 2-2.
Serpico stepped into a 1-2 pitch in the top of the 10th to bring in Chuck Ercole, who had doubled to left, to lift the Hawks to their win.
Kevin Quirk (4-0) went the distance for St. Joe's and reliever Frank Keenan absorbed the defeat for the Eagles, but atoned in the second game.
In the nightcap, AU (6-6-1) jumped on Hawk starter Dom Lamberto, who threw three wild pitches, for eight hits in the first four innings to move up, 3-0. Darryl Mann (two RBI) doubled to left to drive in one of the runs.
The Hawks loaded the bases in each of the last three innings, but scored only one run. Divan (4-0), who came in leading the area with 24 strikeouts, fanned Ralph Dell' Arciprete to stop the St. Joe's threat in the seventh.
Keenan relieved Divan in the ninth and struck out Sendecki to end the game.