ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – The St. Bonaventure baseball team looks to complete a six-game homestand sweep when it welcomes Little Three rival Canisius to Fred Handler Park for a Tuesday matinee beginning at 3.
The Bonnies (16-20) have won a season-high five straight games, culminating with a three-game series sweep over defending Atlantic 10 Champion Dayton on Sunday. Canisius enters with a record of 31-11, and included in that mark was a program-record 11-game winning streak earlier this month, broken on Sunday in a 10-inning loss to Marist.
The two teams will play for the first time this year after their March 27 matchup in Buffalo was canceled due to snow. St. Bonaventure leads the all-time series against the Griffs, 43-24-2, however Canisius has won 10 of the last 14 meetings, including both contests last campaign.
Canisius has been great away from home this year as it boasts a 21-7 record in road contests. As a team, the Griffs hit a dominant .306, led by Jimmy Luppens with his .381 average. As a pitching staff, Canisius is equally dominant as Garrett Cortright has a 1.94 ERA in 11 starts and 78.2 innings pitched. Out of the bullpen, Jon Fitzsimmons has made 16 appearances and in 23.1 innings pitched has allowed just one earned run.
For Bonaventure, Jason Radwan continues his best-ever season with a .415 batting average, good for 7th in the entire nation. During its five-game winning streak, the SBU pitching staff has not allowed more than two runs in any game as it now holds a season-low 5.33 ERA.
Freshman Steven Klimek will get the start on the mound for the Brown and White. The right hander is just 1-3 on the year with a 5.49 ERA, but opponents are hitting just .216 against him – the lowest average of any Bona starting pitcher. That average drops even lower to .191 when runners are on base.
Following the contest with Canisius, St. Bona returns to action this weekend in an A-10 three-game series at Rhode Island. Bonaventure was scheduled to play a make-up game against Niagara at home on Wednesday; however, that contest has been canceled due to the Purple Eagles being in final exams.