“He is definitely a guy we can slide into the rotation and be a dude for us,” were the words from the senior catcher, Andrew Cossetti, following the Saint Joe’s Hawks 11-4 win over the Fairfield Stags. The guy Cossetti is talking about is senior pitcher Mike Falco. Falco threw six innings of one-run ball while being given plenty of run support. This was Falco’s first start as a Hawk and he earned the win while only scattering three hits and striking out three. His command was good for the most part, though he did walk four batters.
The Hawks’ leadoff man, Brett Callahan, set the tone for the day by homering on the second pitch of the afternoon. Cossetti, batting fourth, also homered to put the Hawks up two in the first. The offense was quiet until the bottom of the fourth when Paul Kokol hit a three-run shot to bring the score to five for SJU.
Callahan ended the day three for five with two RBIs, two runs scored, a home run, and a double. He finished a triple shy of the cycle. The Hawks were hitting everything. Fairfield’s pitching staff just had one of those days where things just weren’t going right. Every pitch was hammered by one of the Hawks’ hitters.
Sophomore pitcher, Colin McVeigh, settled in after allowing the two early home runs, but things got out of control in the fourth. McVeigh lasted three and a third, giving up five runs, all earned, allowing six hits, walking two, and striking out two. For McVeigh, a Lansdale, PA native, it was fun to come home and pitch in front of friends and family.
“Saw my family Friday and Saturday, saw some old teammates this weekend, too.” McVeigh was hoping for better results, but it is hard to get much better than his freshmen season when he posted a 2.79 ERA in six appearances and helped get the Stags to the NCAA tournament.
Also in attendance were many La Salle College High School baseball players and alumni, as McVeigh, Cossetti, and sophomore catcher for SJU, Justin Igoe, all graduated from the school. The trio were very successful together, winning multiple Philadelphia Catholic League championships. La Salle has produced some notable Division I baseball talent over the last few years, with Cossetti, Igoe, and McVeigh as clear examples. La Salle’s head varsity baseball coach, Kyle Werman, was also at the game checking in on his former players.
Following the game, Cossetti talked about how important it was for the Hawks to come back from dropping the first game on Friday night and still win the series.
“Collectively, as a group, bouncing back from the first one and beating a great team like Fairfield shows us where we’re at. It shows that we’re a really good team too and we can play with anyone.”
Cossetti also talked a lot about the presence of La Salle’s current players and alumni in the stands. “Yeah, absolutely, it was cool seeing McVeigh on the mound. I saw Bryan Nolan, my former manager here, and a lot more guys from La Salle. It’s really cool to see how the community still supports you after you graduate.”
McVeigh echoed his comments. “Yeah, La Salle has a really strong brotherhood. It’s fun facing these guys, I’ve faced Andrew like 1,000 times before. Just really fun seeing the guys again this weekend.”
SJU is back on the diamond on Friday on the road at Radford for a weekend series. Fairfield plays again Friday as well in Florida against Florida Gulf Coast for a weekend series.
All photos by Joe Schneyder