DAYTON, OH – The Dayton Flyers (24-20, 9-5 A-10) rallied for a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to escape with a 3-2 win over St. Joseph's (19-19-1) at Stuart Field. Kevin Kirkby made the 194th start of his career to break the SJU record and scored a run, the 155th of his career, to eclipse the SJU mark in that category.
The Flyers picked up their first run in the bottom of the first without the benefit of a hit. Leadoff man Mark Schulte walked, stole second base, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a wild pitch by Hawk starter Jim Boylan. St. Joe's got the run back in the sixth. With runners on first and third, and one out, Tim Gunn hit a deep fly to right center. Schulte ran it down, making a dazzling over-the-shoulder grab on the warning track. The Flyers doubled the runner off first base ending the inning, but the umpires ruled that Kirkby tagged up and scored before the third out was recorded.
The Hawks pushed another run across in the eighth as Kirkby doubled down the leftfield line to score Eric Wyatt for a 2-1 lead. Boylan started the ninth by walking leadoff man Clint Beasley, and was replaced by Kirkby. Pinch hitter Andy Boehmer reached on an error. After a fielder's choice, Kirkby uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runner to move to second, and Beasley to score, tying the game at 2-2. The ensuing batter then followed with the game-winning single to right field for the 3-2 victory. Scott Shean gets his third win for the Flyers, after pitching a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one. Starter Mike Kerins scattered eight hits in eight innings of work, striking out two while picking up the no decision. Kirkby takes the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the year.
Hawk starter Jim Boylan worked eight plus innings, allowing four hits and striking out six. Kirkby, who has played in every game of his SJU career, made his 194th start to break Bill Weingartner's (1992-95) team record. The only game in his four years that he was not in the starting lineup was a game against Northern Iowa on March 10, 2000. Kirkby also broke another Hawk milestone when he crossed home plate for the 155th time in his career. That passed Mike Sharkey (1993-96) for the career record. Tomorrow, the two teams will finish the three-game set with a doubleheader. First pitch from Stuart Field is at 11:00 a.m.