The St. Bonaventure baseball team travels to Massachusetts to continue Atlantic 10 play at UMass where the Bonnies and Minutemen will face off for the first time since 2016. St. Bonaventure aims to bounce back from a three-game sweep at George Mason last weekend while the Minutemen are 1-2 in conference play after the first A-10 weekend.
Friday (3 p.m.) – RHP Brandon Schlimm (0-3, 6.19) vs. RHP Justin Lasko (1-1, 2.21)
Saturday (1 p.m.) – RHP Braydon Nelson (1-1, 3.12) vs. LHP Brooks Knapek (2-2, 4.50)
Sunday (noon) – RHP Ben Contento (1-1, 5.30) vs. RHP Kevin Hassett (0-2, 10.91)
WHEN LAST WE MET
The Bonnies and Minutemen did not face each other during the 2017 season due to the Atlantic 10's unbalanced conference schedule. The Bonnies were able to take two of three over the Minutemen in April 2016 at Fred Handler Park, earning 5-3 and 7-3 victories. Not many Bonnies still on the roster were in the starting lineup for that series, but David Vaccaro went 3-for-7 during the series. Brandon Schlimm, Friday's scheduled starter, earned a win with eight innings of three-run ball, striking out six on April 8, 2016.
LAST TIME OUT
SBU has been idle since last Sunday when the Bonnies finished up their series at George Mason which was shortened to two days due to a late season Virginia snow storm. Bona looked to have the first game of Sunday's doubleheader won after plating three runs in the ninth for a 6-4 lead. The Patriots answered, though, for a 7-6 win and took the finale, 6-0.
WELCOME TO THE SQUAD
Junior Mike Magnanti has made a solid first impression with the Bonnies thus far this spring. The transfer from Finger Lakes Community College ranks fifth in the Atlantic 10 with a .344 batting average and is third in on-base percentage at .474. Magnanti also leads the Bonnies with six multi-hit games thus far.
RACKING UP K's
Freshman Braydon Nelson struck out seven batters in his last outing Sunday at George Mason, continuing a trend in his first collegiate season. Nelson has struck out at least six batters in four of his five starts and stands 10th in the Atlantic 10 with 31 punch outs thus far in 34.2 innings of work.
GETTING THEM IN
Junior Brandon Henshaw had a dramatic two-run single in the ninth inning of game one Sunday at George Mason – the hit gave him his fourth multi-RBI game of the year, best on the roster.
Two Bonnies enter the UMass series with notable hit streaks – senior Ryan MacCarrick has a season-best seven-game hitting streak intact entering the weekend while sophomore Jeff Palczewski has hit safely in five straight contests.
UMass enters the weekend at 8-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play after winning the middle game of a series at Richmond last weekend, 2-1 on Saturday. The Spiders took game one, 17-5, and won the finale, 7-1, last Sunday. UMass was able to get in one mid-week game this week, winning 8-7 at Albany on Tuesday.
The Minutemen rank fourth in the Atlantic 10 with 5.7 runs per game while Ryan Lever stands fourth in the league with a .350 batting average.
UMass is led by first-year head coach Matt Reynolds, a former player and assistant coach with the Minutemen under longtime head coach Mike Stone who retired after last season. Reynolds previously was the head coach at Washington College in Maryland for three years after seven years as an assistant at Navy.
The Bonnies have a non-conference matchup at Penn State Wednesday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. before finally getting their first home games of the season next weekend when Saint Joseph's comes to town April 6-8.
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