Behind Crane And Explosive Offense, Bonnies Cruise Past Temple

Behind Crane And Explosive Offense, Bonnies Cruise Past Temple

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Jordan Crane shut down the nation's best offense, and for the second straight day the St. Bonaventure baseball team (19-20, 9-8 Atlantic 10 Conference) jumped out to an early lead en route to a 12-1 win over Temple (21-23, 3-14 A-10) Saturday afternoon.

With the win, the Bonnies remain tied with Xavier and Fordham for the sixth, and final, postseason slot with seven conference games remaining. The victory also moves Bonaventure's A-10 record above .500 for the first time all year after beginning the campaign 0-3 in the league ledger.

St. Bonaventure plated three runs in the 2nd inning and added four more in the 4th to jump out to a 7-0 lead after its portion of the 4th inning. Through the first 3½ inning of the series opener on Friday, the Bonnies had an 8-0 lead over the last-place Owls.

That was plenty of run support for Crane as the right hander shut down the nation's leading offense. Entering the game, Temple was hitting .337 as a team – tops in Division I – and ranked seventh in the country in runs scored, averaging 8.4 per game. The junior moved his record to 3-2 on the year and lowered his already staff-low ERA even more to 2.61.

Crane was brilliant as he tossed eight complete innings, scattering seven hits allowing just that one earned run. He struck out four while walking just two, and now has earned the win in three of St. Bonaventure's nine conference victories.

After going hitless in the series opener Friday, catcher Michael Grieco responded with a career-high four-hit performance on Saturday with three singles and a double. Alex Calderon also recorded a career high as he collected four hits and scored three runs in a 4-for-5 afternoon.

Bonaventure opened the scoring in the 2nd frame with a leadoff bloop single into shallow left-center from Billy Urban. With one out, Grieco sent a single through the left side of the infield, and with aggressive baserunning Urban moved to third. Calderon then laced a double just inside the right-field line to score Urban and move Grieco up to third.

With two outs and a full count on senior Brad Steinbach, the right fielder sent a two-RBI single through the left side of the infield to give the Bonnies and Crane a 3-0 lead.

More run support for Crane came in the 4th as Grieco led off with a single past the third baseman. Calderon then doubled to left-center, and Grieco was able to score on a bobbled relay attempt by the Owls. With a full count on ninth-place hitter Nick Brennen, the lefty laid down a sacrifice bunt that went for a hit up the third-base line, allowing Calderon to score all the way from second, giving the Bonnies a 5-0 lead.

Later on in the 4th, Jason Radwan stretched his hitting streak to seven straight games with a single through the left side to score Brennen. Freshman Justin Brozick drove home the fourth, and final, run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left to plate Jamie Wallschlaeger, who reached via a single to right.

The Bonnies added three more runs in the 5th, two in the 6th and two more in the 7th to take a 12-0 lead before Temple got its only run of the contest in the bottom of the 8th.

Urban finished 1-for-4 at the plate on the day, running his hitting streak to 12 straight games. The dozen consecutive games is the longest streak by a Bonaventure hitter this year, and longest streak since last year when Jesse Bosnik hit safely in 19 straight and Radwan hit in 13 consecutive. Radwan has also now hit safely in nine straight A-10 contests.

Steinbach and Wallschlaeger both collected two hits. Calderon and Steinbach both finished with three RBI on the day.

The two teams return to action on Sunday for the final contest of the three-game series with the Bonnies looking for their second A-10 sweep of the year. First pitch is slated for Noon from Skip Wilson Field.