STANDISH — Brandon Budlong tossed a complete game as fourth-seeded Johnson & Wales defeated top-seeded St. Joseph’s College 6-3 in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference baseball tournament Thursday.

The Monks fell into the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament, and will play again Saturday – twice if it advances – at Nashua, New Hampshire.

Budlong allowed 10 hits but walked just one, striking out five.

Budlong, a sophomore left-hander, changed speeds effectively, keeping the Monks off balance for most of the game.

“I realized that (St. Joseph’s) put the pitching machine up close in practice, hitting fastballs as fast as possible, so I knew that’s what they were geared up for. That’s all they really know how to hit is a fastball, so I’ll throw my off-speed all day to them,” said Budlong.

Budlong allowed five hits and no runs through the first seven innings.

He was tested in the eighth and ninth but limited the damage in both innings.

“(Budlong) bore down. I told him it was his game and he deserved the opportunity to finish that game,” said Johnson & Wales Coach John LaRose.

Johnson & Wales (22-17) struck early, jumping ahead 2-0 in the first on a two-run homer by Dave Matthews. Leadoff man Rob Ballinger was hit by a pitch and one out later, Matthews homered over the wall in right-center.

“It’s big to come out here and start getting runs as soon as possible, especially against a good hitting team like (St. Joseph’s),” said Matthews.

The Wildcats made it 3-0 in the fifth on an RBI single by Matthews, scoring Ballinger from second.

St. Joseph’s (31-7) ran itself out of an inning in the fifth. The Monks had runners on first and second with two outs and Max McCoomb at the plate.

A pitch in the dirt kicked away from catcher Edison Mercado and both runners tried to advance, but Mercado recovered the ball quickly and fired to third in plenty of time to get the runner and end the inning.

“We have to play a lot better than that to win a ballgame,” said St. Joseph’s Coach Will Sanborn.

Johnson & Wales responded in the sixth inning with a pair of runs thanks to shaky defense and a balk.

McCoomb got the Monks on the board with an RBI double, his second double of the game, in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-1.

St. Joseph’s added a run later in the inning on a fielder’s choice.

The Monks had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. With one run already in, they had runners on first and second with two outs and McCoomb at the plate. The runners advanced on a passed ball but McCoomb flied to right to end the game.

“I was just thinking, don’t give (McCoomb) anything to hit out of the ballpark,” said Budlong.

Joey Murphy led St. Joseph’s with three hits, including a double, and scored a run.

There are four teams remaining in the tournament, which now shifts to Nashua, New Hampshire on Saturday and Sunday.

“It was a big win today. If everyone just does their job and we keep going how we’re going, I think we should be fine,” said Matthews.

“That was a big win but it was just the start, hopefully,” said LaRose.