Bonnies Close Out Regular Season With 3-Game Series At Charlotte
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The St. Bonaventure baseball team (21-24, 8-13 Atlantic 10 Conference) closes out its regular season with a three-game series at Charlotte (20-30, 8-12 A-10) beginning on Thursday night and continuing until Saturday afternoon.
Game one is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m., with game two scheduled for Friday also at 6 p.m. The series is set to conclude on Saturday with a 2 p.m. first pitch.
The Bonnies and 49ers both enter the final weekend mathematically alive for spot in the six-team A-10 Championship next week, but are highly unlikely to qualify. Bonaventure needs to sweep all three games from Charlotte AND have Xavier, Richmond and Massachusetts get swept in each of their respective three-game series. If that happens, St. Bonaventure, Xavier, Richmond and UMass would all be tied for the sixth, and final, spot with 11-13 league records at which point a multiple-team tiebreaker would be instituted.
LAST TIME OUT: Junior Jason Radwan collected five hits over the course of two games, including a 4-for-4 effort in the second game, and was on base six times in eight opportunities as the Bonnies split a doubleheader with Big 4 rival University at Buffalo on Tuesday. SBU lost the first 7-inning game, 6-1, before rebounding in the second 7-inning contest, 11-1.
SCOUTING CHARLOTTE: The 49ers dropped an 18-2 decision to Wake Forest on Tuesday evening as the Demon Deacons scored 13 runs in the 1st inning. The loss extended Charlotte's losing streak to seven straight games as the 49ers have not yet won a contest in the month of May.
As a team, Charlotte is second in the A-10 in batting average with a team clip of .290. Shane Brown leads the entire conference in hitting at .366 and is second in stolen bases with 29; Shane Basen checks in at fourth in the league in RBI with 44.
Charlotte was the preseason favorite to win the A-10, but comes into this series 7 games out of league-leading Saint Louis. Since joining the A-10 for the 2006 season, Charlotte has not only been one of the dominant teams in the league but also the entire nation as it boasts a .704 winning percentage (243-102). That's the seventh-best winning percentage among all Division I baseball teams since 2006.
SERIES SNAPSHOT: Charlotte owns an 8-4 all-time series advantage over St. Bona. The Bonnies won three of the first four meetings, but since then the 49ers have claimed seven of the last eight, including three in a row.
BATTLES ON THE BUMP
Game One: Jordan Crane (RHP) vs. Andrew Smith (RHP)
Crane (5-2) leads the Bonnies in wins with five, a total which is in top-10 amongst all A-10 pitchers. The senior also paces SBU with four complete games and has a team-best ERA of 4.18. The right-hander has tossed 75.1 innings on the year, striking out 42 and walking just 23. Smith (5-7) has earned a decision in all but one of his 13 appearances (all starts) this season. The redshirt senior has thrown a team-leading 81 innings and has an ERA of 4.44 on 73 hits and 53 strike outs. He's also thrown 10 wild pitches and hit 12 batters.
Game Two: Eddie Gray (LHP) vs. Joe Yermal (RHP)
Gray (3-3) leads the Bonnies in innings pitched with 84.2 and has an ERA of 4.25. The southpaw has struck out a team-best 65 on the campaign and is allowing opposing hitters to connect at just a .275 clip. The redshirt junior will be making his team-leading 13th start of the season. Yermal (6-5) has a team-best 3.64 ERA and his six victories paces the 49ers. Over 64.1 innings the redshirt senior has struck out 35, walked 16 and allowed 68 hits.
Game Three: Asa Johnson (RHP) vs. Tyler Barnette (RHP)
Johnson (3-3) will be making his fourth career A-10 start, with all four coming in the last four weeks. Two weeks ago, he pitched the best game of his career, limiting league-leading Saint Louis to just one run over his 8 innings. The sophomore is third on the team in innings pitched with 73.1 and has an ERA of 5.52. Barnette (2-3) has thrown just 44 innings over his 11 starts and holds an ERA of 4.30. The sophomore right-hander has walked (26) nearly just as many as he's struck out (27), but opponents are hitting just .255 off of him.
A-10 Championship: If Bonaventure qualified for the A-10 Championship, it would be held next Wednesday-Saturday at Fordham University's Houlihan Park.