Nate Thomas homered in win for Saint Joseph's
It's been a long time since both La Salle and Saint Joseph's met this late in the season with potential postseason ramifications on the line, so it's only fitting that the first contest of a four-game set ended in walk-off fashion. 

Adam Fine, inserted as a pinch-runner in the final frame, scampered home on a Colin Yablonski wild pitch to give the Hawks an important 3-2 win at Smithson Field on Thursday afternoon. 

The win keeps Saint Joseph's postseason chances alive, though it appears the club will need to win the final three contests of this four-game set with La Salle and also need UMass to knock off Rhode Island twice in the remaining three games of their respective series. 

The Hawks and Explorers exchanged runs in the opening frame. Elijah Dickerson scored Tatem Levins with an RBI single for La Salle, while Brandon Drapeau answered with an RBI single to score Brandan Hueth for the Hawks. 

The two teams again exchanged runs in the fourth, with Alfonse Sadallah pushing Nick O'Day across via a fielder's choice for the Explorers while Nate Thomas crushed a solo shot to right field for Saint Joseph's. The homer was his ninth on the season. 

In the ninth, Tim Cavanaugh drew a lead-off walk before being pulled for Fine. Hueth followed with a bunt single before Yablonski uncorked a wild-pitch allowing runners to move to second and third. Luca Trigiani then worked a walk to load the bases. With Andrew Cossetti at the plate, Yablonski threw his second wild pitch of the frame allowing Fine to score. 

Liam Bendo, Thomas, and Hueth collected two hits each in the win for the Hawks. Ian McCool was solid on the mound, surrendering two runs on eight hits. He whiffed four and walked one. Hayden Seig notched the win, tossing two scoreless innings in relief.  

Despite the loss, La Salle still has an opportunity to win the Atlantic 10 North Division. 

If the Explorers win two of the final three games in this series with Saint Joseph's, they'll end the year with a 17-7 conference record and a .708 winning percentage. Assuming Rhode Island wins the rest of their remaining games against UMass, the Rams will finish with a 14-6 conference record and a .700 winning percentage, leaving La Salle as the division winner. 

La Salle and Saint Joseph's will play a twin-bill on Friday with Game 1 set to begin at noon. The series will conclude with a single game on Saturday.  
Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

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