St. Bonaventure opens the Atlantic 10 portion of its schedule with a trip to George Mason this weekend. With snow in the forecast all week in the northern Virginia area, stay tuned to @BonniesBaseball for potential schedule changes.
A winter storm moving up the East Coast has dumped approximately five inches of snow on the Fairfax, Va. area which has prompted schedule changes for this weekend. Friday's game has been postponed and the teams will hope for melting to occur Thursday and Friday to allow play this weekend. The Bonnies and Patriots are now set to play Saturday at 2 p.m. with a doubleheader on Sunday at noon. The schedule is subject to change due to weather.
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
Saturday - RHP Brandon Schlimm (0-2, 6.97) vs. RHP Zach Mort (2-1, 2.51)
Sunday Game One - RHP Braydon Nelson (1-1, 2.51) vs. RHP Bryce Nightengale (1-2, 4.91)
Sunday Game Two - RHP Ben Contento (1-0, 3.14) vs. LHP Brian Marconi (1-0, 6.75)
LAST TIME OUT
The Bonnies dropped two out of three games at North Carolina A&T in a series where every game could have gone either way. Each game was decided by one run with the Aggies taking game one, 5-4 in 13 innings, and the series finale, 4-3. The Bonnies captured the middle game, 8-7, and led in the late innings of each contest.
CONTENTO STILL ROLLING
Redshirt junior Ben Contento continued his recent hot streak, striking out six in six innings of work last Sunday at North Carolina A&T. Contento, who was the Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week March 12, is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 11 innings over his last two starts. Thus far on the season, Contento has a nearly absurd 14.44 K/9 which is second-best in the Atlantic 10.
MAGNANTI AMONG A-10 LEADERS
Junior Mike Magnanti has been a catalyst this season atop the lineup for the Bonnies. He enters the weekend series hitting a team-best .347 this spring, a total that ranks seventh in the Atlantic 10. His .492 on-base percentage also is third-best among all A-10 players on the season.
Freshman Braydon Nelson, who earned Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week honors March 5, stands sixth in the Atlantic 10 with 28.2 innings of work so far this spring. He's done that in just four starts, however – all of the five pitchers ahead of him in innings pitched this season have made five starts.
Two Bonnies have previously posted statistical highs in the past vs. George Mason. Two seasons ago, current senior David Vaccaro drove in seven RBIs in a win over the Patriots at home on May 8, 2016 when he homered twice and drove in six runs in a single inning. Sophomore reliever Donovan Moffat also had what was a career high three innings of scoreless work in a win at Mason on April 21, 2017. Moffat matched that with three innings of perfect relief in last Saturday's win at North Carolina A&T.
ABOUT GEORGE MASON
The Patriots were picked to finish fourth in the Atlantic 10 Preseason Coaches Poll a year after qualifying for the A-10 Tournament with a 26-33 overall record and 13-11 conference mark last spring. Mason started this year at 0-8 against tough competition, playing Louisville, Butler, Richmond and The Citadel. They've won seven games since, however, and stand at 7-11 overall after taking two of three from Lafayette last weekend at home.
Logan Driscoll leads the Atlantic 10 by a wide margin, getting off to a scorching start with a .465 batting average and 17 RBIs. Zach Mort paces all A-10 pitchers with 42 strikeouts on the season. As a team, the Patriots are seventh in the A-10 in batting average (.264) and 13th in team ERA (6.79).
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