The first two runs scored on wild pitches. The third scored on a delayed steal.

The fourth and fifth runs scored on an error. The sixth scored on another wild pitch.

"You know you have a good offense when you don't hit and you still score," Eastern senior pitcher and cleanup hitter Steve Priolo said after the Vikings' 10-4 victory over St. Augustine Prep on Saturday in a Diamond Classic first-round game between top-three teams.

In the end, the Vikings got their share of big hits as junior Jake Quinn rapped an RBI double, senior Matt Marella delivered an RBI single, and junior Tom Flacco sent a fastball soaring over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.

But Eastern (19-2), No. 2 in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings, used a familiar formula to beat No. 3 St. Augustine in the opening game of the 16-team, single-elimination tournament: Strong pitching, solid fielding, and good baserunning.

"Little things win baseball games," Eastern senior righthander Alex Bussison said.

Bussison (5-0) went four innings. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out two.

Priolo, a righthander who has signed with Marist, pitched the final three innings. He allowed two runs on two hits and struck out the game's last batter.

"That's a great lineup," Eastern coach Rob Christ said of St. Augustine (13-6).

St. Augustine junior lefty Zach Warren (4-1) worked 41/3 innings. He allowed just three hits with six walks and two hit batters.

"When you're playing a team like that, you can't give them extra outs," St. Augustine coach Mike Bylone said. "I told the kids [Friday] they didn't need to bring their 'A' game - they needed to bring their 'A-plus' game."

Eastern, which will face Bishop Eustace in Saturday's second round, jumped in front, 1-0, in the first inning as leadoff man Nick Tierno manufactured a run. He was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced on a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch.

"When you're in a tournament and you can get in front, it helps relax you," Christ said.

Good baserunning led to two more runs in the second for the Vikings. And a two-run throwing error made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth.

"We're not a powerhouse team," Priolo said. "But our chemistry is so strong. We battle together as a team."

St. Augustine 002 011 0 - 4 6 1

Eastern 120 232 x - 10 6 0

WP: Alex Bussison. LP: Zach Warren. 2B: E-Jake Quinn; SA-Barry Buchowski. HR: E-Tom Flacco.


See and hear from Eastern's Steve Priolo.