ST. BONAVENTURE (2-11, 1-3 A-10) vs. SAINT JOSEPH'S (9-6, 4-0 A-10)
Friday - Sunday, April 16-18
Fred Handler Park
The St. Bonaventure baseball team returns to Fred Handler Park for their first Atlantic 10 games on home turf since May 17, 2019. The Bonnies did not play a single home game before the season was shut down last spring and opened A-10 play last week at Fordham. The Bonnies will look to gain traction in the A-10 North Division after a 1-3 start at division favorite Fordham last weekend. To do so, the Bonnies will need to cool down a Hawks club that swept its four-game A-10 opening series last weekend.
Fan attendance for the spring semester on campus at St. Bonaventure University is limited to SBU students, faculty and staff, and two family members per home athlete. Visiting team parents and fans are not permitted on campus.
LAST TIME OUT
The Bonnies grabbed the first game at Fordham, fighting from behind for a 7-4 win. The Rams used some outstanding pitching to win the next three games, 4-1 in the second game on Friday before a 3-0 win in game 1 Saturday. The Bonnies had a chance with the tying run at the plate in the finale before Fordham held on for a 7-5 decision.
The Bonnies' starting pitchers have given the team steady outings nearly across the board in the past two weekends. Last weekend, Liam Devine made his A-10 debut a memorable one, coming two outs shy of a complete game by working 8.1 innings, allowing four runs while fanning seven to earn the win. Donovan Moffat threw a complete game in an 8-3 win, allowing three runs with seven strikeouts in a seven-inning contest April 3 at George Mason, then worked six innings of four-run ball last week at Fordham. Elijah Baez has had tough luck in his last two outings, tagged with the loss in both despite throwing a combined 12.2 innings while allowing only three combined earned runs April 3 at George Mason in a 2-1 setback and last week at Fordham in a 3-0 loss. Sunday's scheduled starter Andrew White was solid April 4 at George Mason as he did not allow an earned run in six innings, fanning seven.
RISING UP THE RECORD BOOKS
A pair of Bonnies continue to make marks in the program's all-time record books. With four homers on the season, Tyler Kelder now has 22 bombs for his career to move into a tie for fifth all-time in Bonnies history with Eric Wilson '04 and Jonathan Myler '01. Next up is fourth-place Tom Tegeler '95 with 24 homers. Brian Pellegrini '07, a former Houston Astros draft pick, owns the career Bona record with 48.
Lefty Donovan Moffat appeared in his 73rd and 74th career games last weekend at Fordham. Appearance No. 73 resulted in career save No. 10, fourth all-time in Bonnies history and one away from third-place Bob Beretta '87 (11), who was recently named Director of Athletics at Le Moyne College. Moffat then started the next game after picking up the final two outs of game 1 last Friday at Fordham, moving into second-place all-time in Bonnies career appearances. Only Cory Sudbrook '10 appeared in more games on the hill for the Bonnies, 84 between 2007-10. Moffat's current career ERA of 3.38 would rank third in Bonnies history, just behind current San Francisco Giants prospect and 2017 A-10 Pitcher of the Year Aaron Phillips (3.17).
ABOUT SAINT JOSEPH'S
The Hawks enter the weekend 9-6 overall and, more importantly, a perfect 4-0 in league play after an impressive start to A-10 action last weekend. Saint Joseph's hosted UMass to begin the A-10 schedule, scoring wins of 5-1, 7-5, 10-2 and 6-1.
SJU ranks third in the league with a .278 team batting average with four starters hitting over .300 for the year - Liam Bendo (.380), Brandan Hueth (.354), Nate Thomas (.339) and Jake Artz (.317). The Hawks have shown pop as well, smacking 20 home runs, led by five from Thomas. Bendo stands third among all A-10 players with his .380 batting average and his .466 on-base percentage is fifth in the league.
The team's 5.95 ERA is fifth in the league.
2021 ATLANTIC 10 FORMAT
The Atlantic 10 has a new format for baseball this year. Teams will play four-game series each weekend with the middle two games set for seven innings. Games one and four will be nine innings. The Bonnies will be in the North Division and two A-10 Tournament spots will be in play - also in the division are Fordham, La Salle, Saint Joseph's, Rhode Island and UMass. The A-10 Tournament is scheduled for May 27-29 on campus at the highest seed.
BY THE NUMBERS
.761 - Tyler Kelder stands second in the A-10 with a .761 slugging percentage, behind only VCU's Tyler Locklear. That total also is good for 15th nationally.
.500 - Ben Berger leads the Bonnies in hitting with runners in scoring position, collecting four hits in eight at-bats.
.396 - Matthew Williams stands second on the Bonnies with a .396 on-base percentage, behind only Kelder's .434. Williams also is the third-toughest A-10 player to strike out this season, whiffing in just four out of 42 at-bats. Williams also has the team's best success rate in advancing runners, doing so in 63 percent of his opportunities (19-30).
.364 - Though Brendyn Stillman is still seeking some of the electricity of last spring when he led the nation and earned All-American honors by hitting .519, he still has a solid on-base percentage of .364 this season thanks to working eight walks. Only Williams has drawn more bases on balls, nine, while Jack Putney has also worked eight walks. Putney, meanwhile has a .412 on-base percentage in his nine games including seven starts at the hot corner.
.349 - Kelder also ranks ninth in the league in batting average at .349.
12 - Kyle Caringi has easily worked the most innings of relief of any Bonnies pitcher so far this spring, tossing 12.1 frames in five appearances. His 3.65 ERA is also best on the team.
Bona heads to Philly for a four-game conference series at La Salle next Friday through Sunday.
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