MERION STATION, Pa. – Connor Grey struck out 15 batters in game one and Cole Peterson finished the day 8-for-9 at the plate as the St. Bonaventure University baseball team swept a doubleheader at Saint Joseph's by scores of 2-0 and 7-2 on Friday afternoon.
St. Bonaventure wraps up the regular season with a 26-22-1 overall record including an 11-13 record in Atlantic 10 play while Saint Joseph's falls to 29-21, 15-9.
Bona completes the season with its most Atlantic 10 victories since 2011 and more overall wins for any Bonnies team since the 2009 squad won 27.
Friday's wins keep St. Bonaventure alive in the hunt for an Atlantic 10 Tournament spot due to Davidson and VCU having their game rained out, forcing the cancellation of their third game. The Bonnies now await the outcome of the UMass/George Mason and Davidson/VCU games on Saturday, needing a UMass win and two losses from Davidson in the Wildcats' doubleheader (or one loss in the event that continued rainy weather in Charlotte causes another cancellation) with VCU for a chance to reach the postseason.
GAME ONE – St. Bonaventure 2, Saint Joseph's 0 | Box Score
Connor Grey turned in one of the best single game performances in recent Bonnies baseball history, striking out 15 batters over his 7.1 innings of work. The senior surrendered just three singles and walked only two while shutting out the Hawks, who entered the weekend ranking third in the Atlantic 10 in batting average and first in slugging percentage. His 15 strikeouts tie the A-10 season high by any pitcher.
Bona grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second by using aggressiveness on the base paths. Aaron Phillips singled to center to lead off and followed by stealing second. He would later score on a single to left off the bat of Ted Dilts for the early edge.
Grey made the one-run lead stick with three perfect innings following Bona's run while not allowing a runner past second base from the second through seventh frames.
St. Bonaventure added an insurance tally in the eighth following a two-out single by Taishi Terashima to bring home David Vaccaro who had singled and stole second to work his way into scoring position.
Grey struck out at least one batter in every inning except for the fifth and opened the eighth with his 15th punch out of the afternoon. A one-out single ended Grey's day, but reliever Thad Johnson coaxed a double play ball to end the inning. Johnson worked a perfect ninth to lock down his sixth save of the year.
Of Grey's 15 strikeouts, four were looking and 11 swinging. With his effort Friday, Grey now has the most strikeouts of any Bonnies pitcher in single season history, racking up 95 this spring. The previous record belonged to Vance Cozier – 85 during the 1999 season. No other Bonnies pitcher has recorded at least 80 strikeouts in a season.
Grey also became the fifth Bonnies pitcher to post 200 strikeouts for a career, moving into fifth place all-time with 201.
GAME TWO – St. Bonaventure 7, Saint Joseph's 2 | Box Score
Peterson went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate and the Bonnies pulled away late to cap the doubleheader sweep.
The Bonnies struck for two runs and an early advantage in the third inning. Sam Fuller started the uprising with a single and then stole second. After Terashima was hit by a pitch, Cole Peterson doubled to left center for the game's first run and Terashima would later score on a sacrifice fly from Johnson.
Saint Joseph's matched the score with a two-spot of its own in the fourth, but the Bonnies immediately re-took the lead in the fifth on a run-scoring infield single by Johnson.
Bona broke the game wide open with three more runs in the ninth, scoring on RBI hits from Peterson, Terashima and Tyler Walter.
In all, Bonnies pitching silenced one of the top offenses in the A-10 and finished its season with a staff ERA of 2.79 to lead the A-10 with a mark that is believed to be the best in school history.
Reid Van Woert (5-2) got the win with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief after Phillips started and struck out five over his four innings of two-run ball. Nate Grant earned the save with 1.2 innings of scoreless work, striking out two.
Walter collected two hits and Johnson, who now ranks eighth in Bona career hits with 198, had two RBIs.