St. Bonaventure baseball will play its first games in over a year when the Bonnies finally return to the diamond Saturday afternoon at Youngstown State. SBU will make the trek to Ohio for a pair of games Saturday afternoon beginning at 1:00 p.m. and then a single game Sunday afternoon also at 1:00 p.m.
The Bonnies are a veteran team, bringing back returners around the diamond.
Around the infield, the Bonnies have starting experience at first base (Matthew Williams), second (Kevin Higgins) and shortstop (Branden Myers). In the outfield, Tyler Kelder, Brendyn Stillman, Garrett Boldt and Ben Berger have all either seen extensive starting time or were slated to do so last year before the spring sports shutdown.
On the hill, the Bonnies return three of their slated conference starters from a year ago - Donovan Moffat, Elijah Baez and Andrew White - and also welcome back experienced relievers Murphy O'Brien and Joshua Pittman while Kyle Caringi and Tripp Breen made their debuts last season before the campaign was cut short.
In all, the Bonnies return all but two positional starters from last season.
For the full season preview, click here.
2021 ATLANTIC 10 FORMAT
When Atlantic 10 play begins, it will be under a new format this spring. The new 24-game conference alignment will see the first Bona A-10 games come the weekend of April 9-11 at Fordham with a trip to the Bronx. This season, conference series will be four-game weekend sets with Saturdays featuring seven-inning doubleheader contests while the Friday and Sunday games remain nine innings.
Brendyn Stillman enters the year with preseason All-American accolades from Collegiate Baseball. In his first year with the Bonnies, he led the nation in batting average by hitting .519 and was one of only two players to hit over .500 in the pandemic-shortened spring. Stillman also led the country in slugging (1.259) after smacking six home runs and two doubles in seven games. His on-base percentage of .594 also ranked fifth in the nation and he was second in home runs per game. In 27 at-bats, he compiled 14 hits, walked five times and struck out in just four plate appearances. He also earned post-season All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper following the season.
Tyler Kelder, a redshirt junior outfielder from Kingston, N.Y., was off to an electric start last spring. He earned National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) National Player of the Week honors after going 11-for-20 with six home runs in a three-game sweep at Mount St. Mary's to begin the year. He finished the year ranking third nationally in slugging percentage (1.097) and led the country in home runs per game. In 90 career games, he is a .273 hitter with 18 home runs and 63 RBIs.
ABOUT YOUNGSTOWN STATE
The Penguins enter the weekend 5-11 overall and 3-5 in Horizon League play. Youngstown State dropped a four-game series to Wright State last weekend but took three out of four from Purdue Fort-Wayne the prior weekend. Phillip Gassler leads the Penguins offense, batting .321 on the season with 18 hits and a team-high eight stolen bases. John Snyder leads YSU on the bump with a 3.26 ERA in four starts, tossing a total of 19.1 innings and 28 strikeouts.
Fan Attendance Policy:
- Fans are advised that masks are mandatory and social distancing is required while in attendance at Eastwood Field. Provided below is a full list of policies and protocols that will be strictly enforced for each game.
- No bags can be brought into the ballpark unless it is a purse or diaper bag
- No outside food or beverage (No coolers)
- No pets
- Fans, staff and volunteers must wear a cloth face covering
- Fans will need to social distance in the ballpark
- Seating with no more than four people unless they are in the same household
- Seating must be separated by at least six feet (3 seats)
- Seating must be in staggered rows and sections to prevent contact
- No congregating before or after games will be permitted
The Bonnies are set to make their home debut with a four-game series with La Salle beginning March 26 at 3:00 p.m.
Stay connected with St. Bonaventure athletics through social media. Follow the Bonnies on Twitter @GoBonnies and get baseball updates @BonniesBaseball. Keep up with the Bonnies on Facebook /GoBonnies and on Instagram @GoBonnies.