Baseball Commences 2012 Campaign Friday In Florida
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The St. Bonaventure baseball team begins its 10-game spring trip on Friday with the first contest of a quasi three-game series against Western Michigan. Following the opening games with the Broncos, SBU faces Mount St. Mary's in four games from Feb. 28-March 2, Georgetown for two matchups March 3 and 4 and a one-game test versus Northeastern March 5.
Redshirt junior Eddie Gray will pitch on Friday at 4 p.m. with seniors Cael Johnson and Jordan Crane taking the mound on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m., respectively.
The Bonnies hope to build on last year's 23-23 overall mark and 13-11 Atlantic 10 Conference record as they finished in a tie for fifth place. After losing tie-breakers to Richmond and La Salle, the team failed to qualify for the six-team conference tournament.
A-10 coaches predicted the Brown and White to finish 10th in the conference this season in voting conducted last month. Head coach Larry Sudbrook's team returns 19 players, including six starters and nine pitchers as he enters his 27th season guiding the Bonnies.
Junior second baseman Jason Radwan earned Second Team All-Conference honors last season, recording 59 hits and scoring 35 runs to go along with a team-high five home runs and a .324 batting average. Junior shortstop Billy Urban, an All-Academic selection, batted .327 last season with 55 hits, 41 RBI and 13 doubles. Gray led the team's pitchers with six wins, 57 strikeouts and 80.1 innings pitched.
Members of the Mid-American Conference, Western Michigan lost its first three games of the season in a series at No. 15 Arizona State last weekend. The Broncos went 26-31 in 2011 with a 12-14 conference record. Senior infielder Ryan McMillin returns after batting .312 last year with 58 hits, 40 RBI and seven home runs.
Mount St. Mary's went 16-35 last season with a 7-25 record in the Northeast Conference. The Mountaineers open their season at home with four games against the Bonnies' A-10 rival St. Louis this weekend before traveling to Florida to face the Brown and White.
Georgetown opened its new season going 2-1 in a three-game series at Charleston Southern. The Hoyas went 23-23 last year with a 5-21 record in the Big East Conference. Senior outfielder Rand Ravnaas leads the team with five RBI and seven hits already this year. Georgetown will play the Washington Nationals on March 2 in Viera, Fla.
After going 18-33 overall and 12-18 in the Colonial Athletic Association last year, Northeastern opened its season at Jacksonville. Senior Matt Miller batted .314 last season with 59 hits and recorded a team-best 24 RBI. The Huskies will play an exhibition against the Boston Red Sox at Fort Myers, Fla. on March 3.
St. Bonaventure opened its 2011 campaign in West Palm Beach, Fla., going 3-6 in games against Sacred Heart, Northeastern, Western Michigan, Rhode Island, American International and Monmouth. The team will play its first true road series of this season March 16-18 at Marshall before the home opener March 20 against Niagara.
Following the regular season, the A-10 Championship will take place May 23-26 at Fordham University's Houlihan Park. The top six teams qualify for the postseason tournament.