ST. BONAVENTURE (23-19-1, 8-10 A-10) vs SAINT LOUIS (20-28, 10-8)
Thursday – Saturday, May 12-14
Fred Handler Park at McGraw-Jennings Field
The Bonnies conclude their 11-game homestand, and 2016 home schedule, by hosting Saint Louis Thursday – Saturday in a key Atlantic 10 matchup. Saturday will be Senior Day as the Bonnies honor the members of their Class of 2016.
IN THE STANDINGS: The Bonnies enter the week just one game out of the final playoff spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament picture. Bona is 8-10 overall in Atlantic 10 play, sitting behind Davidson (9-9) and George Washington (9-9). GW finishes at home vs. Richmond this weekend then at Saint Louis. Davidson, meanwhile, hosts Dayton this week and then travels to VCU next weekend.
Saint Louis is currently fifth in the A-10 at 10-8 overall, just three games behind league-leading Rhode Island.
The top seven teams earn berths in the A-10 Tournament from May 25-29.
ABOUT SAINT LOUIS: The Billikens are one of the A-10's better offensive teams, ranking fourth with a .272 overall batting average. SLU has also slammed a conference-best 37 home runs and are third overall in runs scored with 240.
- Senior infielder Josh Bunselmeyer is second among all A-10 players with 11 home runs. Junior outfielder Trent Leimkuehler also is seventh in the A-10 with seven round-trippers.
- SLU ranks sixth in team ERA (4.46) and Thursday starter Matt Eckelman is fourth in the league with 71 strikeouts.
- Lefty Devin Mahoney is slated to start Saturday's game on the mound. He also leads SLU with a .337 batting average at the plate. Lead off man Michael Bozarth paces the A-10 with 21 stolen bases.
LAST MEETING: The Bonnies and Billikens split a pair of games at Fred Handler Park on April 6, 2014.
A couple of those seniors have left their marks on the program's all-time record books:
- Johnson enters this week with 195 career hits, good for ninth in Bona history. Five hits this week would make him the eighth player in Bona history with 200 or more hits.
- Johnson already owns the Bona career record for saves (17).
- Connor Grey is slated to make his 64th career appearance this weekend – that would break a tie for third all-time in Bonnies history. He's also eighth in career strikeouts with 181, three away from seventh and nine away from sixth. His 247 innings pitched also stand sixth all-time, just ahead of former Frewsburg High and Bonnies teammate Asa Johnson (245) and eight away from fifth.
BACK IN THE PLAYOFF RACE: The Bonnies have gotten back into the Atlantic 10 playoff picture by winning four of their last five conference series. Six of their 10 conference losses this season have been by just one run.
A-10 HONORS FOR JOHNSON, SCHLIMM: Both Thad Johnson and sophomore Brandon Schlimm were honored by the Atlantic 10 this week. Johnson received A-10 Player of the Week honors from the conference office after hitting .500 (11-for-22) with six RBIs and also setting SBU's career saves record. Schlimm received A-10 Co-Pitcher of the Week accolades after he struck out a career-high 12 batters in 8.1 shutout innings vs. George Mason to lower his ERA on the season under 2.00.
Schlimm is also nominated by Hero Sports as the Division I National Pitcher of the Week. To vote, click here.
VACCARO'S DAY TO REMEMBER: Junior David Vaccaro had a day for the Bona record books last Sunday. He slammed two home runs on the afternoon and finished with seven RBIs, six coming in one inning alone when he roped a three-run homer in his first at-bat before clearing the bases with a double later in the frame.
BONA ARMS AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: St. Bonaventure enters this weekend ranking seventh in the nation in team ERA at 2.73. That's a full run lower than the next best Atlantic 10 team – VCU at 3.84.
UP NEXT: The Bonnies finish the regular season vs. Saint Joseph's on the road May 19-21.
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