The Bears defeated the Privateers 19-5 in the opener before taking the nightcap, 7-6, in six innings on Saturday afternoon at Reinhart Field.
Mendez now has 14 career home runs and surpasses Kevin Diaz, who had 13 career dingers, for the most in school history.
Also reaching a milestone was senior Mike Cundari (Staten Island/St. Peter’s), who became the third Bear ever to score 100 career runs with his five runs on the day and set a St. Joseph’s single-game record with four walks in game one.
Cundari finished 1-for-4 at the plate with a RBI and five walks.
St. Joseph’s (9-6) moves a season-high three games over .500 and has won eight of their last ten games, including three in a row, while Maritime (4-12) has dropped three in a row following a two-game winning streak.
A slugfest broke out in the opener as the Bears recorded 15 base knocks, led by Mendez who went 3-for-3 with three long balls along with a career-high eight RBI.
Bears starter Rosario DiLorenzo (Howard Beach/Archbishop Molloy) gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to trim the St. Joseph’s lead to 5-2, but would settle in and pitch 5 1/3 strong innings, giving up four runs on three hits, while striking out three to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The nightcap was a more competitive battle between the two squads as the game wasn’t decided until the final inning. The Bears took back the lead for good in the sixth as they scored two unearned runs off an error by the Maritime first baseman to take a 7-5 advantage going to the last at bat for the Privateers.
After Cutrone pitched the first five innings of the game, sophomore Brian Luebcke (Astoria/Monsignor McClancy) came in to pitch the sixth and got around a leadoff walk and a single, allowing only one run to seal the win for the Bears and earn the save.
Cutrone went five innings, surrendering five runs (four earned) on seven hits with four punchouts to pick up the win and move to 3-1 on the year.