ST. BONAVENTURE (8-22, 4-8 A-10) vs. RICHMOND (21-16-1, 7-5 A-10)
Saturday - Sunday, April 27-28
Fred Handler Park
The St. Bonaventure baseball team returns home this weekend to host Richmond in a three-game Atlantic 10 series. With weather potentially playing a factor this weekend, please follow @BonniesBaseball on Twitter for the latest schedule updates. FRIDAY UPDATE: Due to rain, Friday's game has been postponed to Saturday. The teams are slated to play a doubleheader Saturday at noon with Sunday's third game still scheduled for a noon start. Because of poor weather conditions, the scheduled ESPN+ broadcasts have been canceled.
PROBABLES / COVERAGE
Saturday, Noon - RHP Braydon Nelson (2-3, 6.65) vs. RHP Tim Miller (3-1, 3.14)| Radio: 107.1 FM Olean | Live Stats
Saturday, Game 2 - RHP Ben Contento (0-3, 6.54) vs. RHP Jacob Marcus (1-2, 4.66)| Radio: 107.1 FM Olean | Live Stats
Sunday, Noon - LHP Donovan Moffat (2-3, 3.19) vs. RHP Brendan McGuigan (0-3, 5.36) | Live Stats
RECENT SERIES HISTORY
The Bonnies and Spiders are meeting for the first time since 2017 as the two teams were not scheduled to play a year ago. When the squads met two years ago, the Bonnies took both games of a rain-shortened series, taking a 7-2 victory in game one and 6-5 in game two before the finale was rained out. In fact, the last two series have been played at Fred Handler Park - Richmond took a three-game sweep in 2015. In a quirk of the A-10 scheduling system, the Bonnies have not traveled to Richmond for a series against the Spiders since 2014 when the teams only got one game in due to weather, a 10-6 Richmond win on May 9, 2014.
St. Bonaventure comes into this weekend's play looking to snap a five-game losing streak that has seen the Bonnies drop to 11th in the 13-team Atlantic 10 standings at 4-8 while seventh-place Fordham holds the final A-10 playoff spot for now at 8-7. Richmond, meanwhile, currently sits fifth in the conference standings at 7-5 in A-10 play.
WRITE THEM IN INK: Three Bonnies have played in every game this season – Jeff Palczewski, Brandon Henshaw and Tyler Kelder have all started in each of Bona's 30 contests this year. In the past two years, Palczewski has started 64 of 73 SBU contests while Kelder has been in the starting lineup in 66 and Henshaw a team-high 71 starts.
LOOKING FOR A BREAKOUT: Entering this weekend, the Bonnies are hoping to snap out of what has been an offensive funk as of late. Back on April 3, SBU season highs in runs (18) and hits (21). Since that time, though, SBU has been trying to find its way at the plate. Bona hitters have hit just .207 as a team over the 11 games since that Penn State win.
GRAND SCHUTZ: Senior Alex Schutz has been putting together a season to remember this spring and it continued last Friday when he drilled the first grand slam of his career at James Madison. That left Schutz with the team batting average lead on the year at .316 and he also has posted 13 extra-base hits, a mark that is second on the team. A reserve player during his first three seasons before earning regular time this year, Schutz had just one career extra base hit entering this season.
GETTING ON BASE THE HARD WAY: Senior Sam Fuller is among the Atlantic 10 leaders this year in several categories - including a painful one. Fuller has been hit by a pitch 10 times this year, a mark that is tied for the eighth in the A-10. Dayton's Michael Cleary and Mitchell Garrity have each been hit a league-high 19 times.
ADDING SWIPES: Fuller also ranks among the A-10 leaders in stolen bases - the senior is 14-for-18 in stolen base attempts this year. His 14 swipes are good for a tie for eighth among all A-10 players this season. Jake Mackenzie of Fordham leads the league with 34 stolen bases, 12 more than any other A-10 player.
TWO MORE TRIPLES FOR HISTORY: St. Bonaventure baseball history goes back well over 100 years, but accurate record books date to just 1985. In that time, only one player has had more triples in a single season than Sam Fuller's five this spring - Glenn Hamel who had seven in 1990. Fuller is currently tied for second with Jesse Bosnik (2010) and and John Phillips (1993) with the most triples, five, by a Bona player in nine years.
STRIKEOUT LEADERS: Each of Bona's three probable starters this weekend have had their strikeout pitches working this spring. All three stand in the Atlantic 10's top-20 in strikeouts per nine innings - Braydon Nelson leads the way, standing ninth in the league with 9.39 strikeouts per nine innings. Ben Contento stands second (9.09) and Donovan Moffat is tied for 16th (8.59).
PALCZEWSKI PACES THE WAY: During Atlantic 10 play this year, junior third baseman Jeff Palczewski has led the Bonnies in multiple offensive categories. In 12 league games, Palczewski paces Bona in batting average (.300) and on-base percentage (.417).
ON THE INTERSTATE: Two Bonnies pitchers have limited Atlantic 10 hitters to batting averages against of under .200 this year - Donovan Moffat (1-2, 2.04 in A-10 play) has held A-10 batters to a .194 batting average against him in 17.2 innings while Casey Vincent (0-1, 2.79) has held batters to just .182 off him in 9.2 innings.
- Richmond is 2-5 on the road in A-10 play this year (0-3 at Rhode Island, 2-1 at Dayton)
- The Spiders have three players who rank in the A-10's top-11 in batting average - Kyle Schmidt, Tyler Plantier, Sage Bruhl
- The Spiders are fresh off two walkoff wins vs. VCU last weekend
- Richmond ranks fourth in the A-10 in team batting average (.284) and fourth in team ERA (4.47)