Bonnies To Close Regular Season at Home vs. Fordham; Senior Day Set For Saturday

Bonnies To Close Regular Season at Home vs. Fordham; Senior Day Set For Saturday

Senior Day Handout (PDF)

ST. BONAVENTURE (25-18, 14-6 A-10) vs. FORDHAM (25-23, 9-11)
Thursday - Saturday 
Fred Handler Park

PROBABLES 
Thursday - Noon RHP Aaron Phillips (9-0, 2.85) vs. RHP Jimmy Murphy (5-7, 2.76) / Live Stats / Live Video / Radio: 107.1 FM & 1450 AM

Friday - Noon RHP Brandon Schlimm (1-3, 4.43) vs. RHP Reiss Knehr (3-3, 3.92) / Live Stats / Live Video / Radio: 107.1 FM & 1450 AM

Saturday - Noon RHP Casey Vincent (2-3, 5.06) vs. RHP Brandon Martin (4-1, 3.90) / Live Stats / Live Video

BONNIES TO CELEBRATE SENIOR CLASS SATURDAY
The Bonnies will honor their senior class following Saturday's game, giving each player a traditional last lap around the bases at Fred Handler Park. Taishi Terashima, Jared Baldinelli, Tommy LaCongo, Bradley Gresock, Danny UrbanT.J. Baker and Scott Jerge each are set for their final series in Brown and White on home turf. For more information on each player, please click the link above.

ATLANTIC 10 TOURNAMENT PICTURE
St. Bonaventure enters the final weekend of the Atlantic 10 season in strong position, standing third in the conference standings. Already assured of reaching the Atlantic 10 Tournament for the first time since 2008, the Bonnies could land anywhere between the top seed and fifth in the seven team bracket depending on this weekend's games.

A sweep of Fordham would open the door for the Bonnies to move into the No. 1 or No. 2 seed. In order to be the No. 1 seed, the Bonnies must sweep Fordham to finish 17-6 in the conference and have VCU, which enters the weekend at 16-5, go no better than 1-2 in its series at Richmond. A 3-0 weekend at home would put the Bonnies into a tie with Rhode Island at 17-6 and SBU would win the head-to-head tiebreaker via its series victory, 2-1, over the Rams earlier this season. 

Just one win this weekend could lock the Bonnies into the No. 3 seed with at worst a .652 conference winning percentage, though George Washington could still win a potential tiebreaker based on common A-10 opposition. The fourth-ranked Colonials enter the weekend at 13-8 in the league and finish with a three-game set at home vs. Saint Joseph's, which itself is battling for a tournament spot at 10-11.

The Bonnies also own the head-to-head tiebreaker with fifth-placed George Mason (12-9).

Atlantic 10 standings and final series schedules (standings based on winning percentage):

1. VCU (16-5) – at Richmond (6-14)
2. Rhode Island (17-6) – Atlantic 10 schedule complete
3. St. Bonaventure (14-6) – vs. Fordham (9-11)
4. George Washington (13-8) – vs. Saint Joseph's (10-11)
5. George Mason (12-9) vs. Saint Louis (10-9)
6. Saint Louis at George Mason
7. Davidson (11-10) at UMass (7-14)
8. Saint Joseph's (10-11) at GW
9. Fordham (9-11) at SBU
10. UMass vs. Davidson

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS
This year's Atlantic 10 Tournament will be held in St. Louis, Mo. and hosted at the Billiken Sports Center. The top seven (7) teams based on regular season play (Conference win/loss percentage) will compete in a four-day, double-elimination Championship. The winner of the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship will receive an automatic bid to NCAA Regionals. Selections for the 2017 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship will be announced at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST on Monday, May 29 on ESPNU.

PHILLIPS HONORED AS ONE OF NATION'S BEST TWO-WAY PLAYERS
St. Bonaventure University junior Aaron Phillips is one of nine national semifinalists for the 2017 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year after his stellar year on the mound and at the plate. He enters this week at 9-0 with a 2.85 ERA and has tied the program record for wins in a season with the most of any Bonnies player since Mike Gray had nine victories in 1999. Gray made just five starts that season, making Phillips the winningest Bonnies full-time starter in program history. At the plate, he has hit .269 with 26 RBIs as well as stealing 16 bases.

HOLLINS HOT AT THE RIGHT TIME
Junior David Hollins has been one of the region's hottest hitters as of late. He homered again on Tuesday at Canisius for his sixth home run in the past eight games. During the last eight games, Hollins is hitting .464 and slugging an amazing 1.143. He has lifted his batting average from .262 entering the April 28 game at La Salle to .299 entering the final weekend of the season. His eight season home runs are the most by a Bonnies player since Jesse Bosnik hit 10 in 2010.

SEASON TO REMEMBER
In addition to Phillips making his way to the top of the program's season wins list, both he and teammate Cole Peterson are vying to make their mark across the program record book.

Phillips begins the weekend with 73 strikeouts in 85.1 innings, currently ranking fourth in season strikeouts and ninth in innings. The junior is just five punch outs away from third – Ryan LaMattina's mark of 78 set in 1997. Connor Grey set the program record just a season ago with 95 strikeouts.

Peterson, meanwhile, enters the Fordham series just outside the top 10 for season hits with 58, closing in on Billy Urban and Brian Pellegrini's mark of 64. Peterson also is tied with Pellegrini and Joe Rizzo for eighth with 15 doubles this spring – Pellegrini also owns the record with 24 during his 2007 campaign. Peterson stands eighth in Bonnies history with 22 stolen bases this year, one away from Tom Thiebaud's 23 set during 1999.

ANOTHER MILESTONE FOR SUDBROOK
St. Bonaventure head coach Larry Sudbrook added yet another accomplishment to a very impressive career resume recently by racking up his 300th career Atlantic 10 victory. The milestone win came in a victory at La Salle April 30. In all, Sudbrook has racked up 685 total wins with the Brown and White.

LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
The Bonnies have unquestionably been at their best during Atlantic 10 play this season and the numbers prove it – Bona is hitting .296 as a team in A-10 games this year, third best among all conference teams. Five players – Peterson (.389), Hollins (.314), Phillips (.313), Baldinelli (.309) and Ryan MacCarrick (.309) are all hitting better than .300 against league pitching.

PROVING PROGNOSTICATORS WRONG
Entering the season, the Bonnies had several reasons to have high hopes with a talented returning roster from a team that stayed alive in the A-10 Tournament race until the season's final day in 2016. Along with a strong core of returners, the Bonnies added multiple newcomers who figured to, and have, made strong impacts. The Bonnies were picked ninth in the A-10 Preseason Poll despite this, but have proven those preseason picks wrong having already assured themselves of finishing ahead of at least six schools picked in front of Bona in preseason.

ABOUT FORDHAM

  • The Rams enter the final A-10 series ninth in the conference standings and a game and a half out of the final tournament spot. Fordham will need to take care of business this week as well as receive help in order to qualify for the conference tournament.
  • Fordham ranks eighth in the A-10 with a .256 team batting average, but third in team ERA at 3.89.
  • Fordham was picked sixth in the A-10 Preseason Poll.
  • The Fordham pitching staff ranks first in the league in strikeouts per nine innings (8.5) as starters Reiss Knehr (80) and Jimmy Murphy (79) rank first and second respectively.
  • Fordham has been dominant at home (19-8), but has struggled on the road (5-12).

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