June 1, 2004
PHILADELPHIA - With two-thirds of the roster comprised by underclassmen and just three seniors to provide leadership for a young squad wins and losses may not be the best means to measure the 2004 Saint Joseph's University baseball season. Regularly fielding a starting lineup that featured seven or eight freshmen and sophomores, growing pains were expected and despite the squad struggling to post a 10-44 record overall (4-20 A-10) the groundwork was laid through individual player development for future success.
On the field, seniors Jason Tarewicz and Bill McCollum bought into the team's rebuilding plan and never wavered, bringing a positive approach to the diamond everyday, while mentoring many of their inexperienced teammates.
Tarewicz turned in one of the finest individual seasons in Hawk history at the plate, while establishing himself among SJU's career leaders in several statistical categories during the year. The team MVP and Hitter of the Year displayed remarkable discipline at the plate, leading the team in average (.337), runs (41), hits, (60), doubles (17), triples (2), slugging (.472), walks (43) and on-base percentage (.465). His 20 steals were the fourth most in SJU single season history and 17 two-baggers rank sixth.
McCollum remained one of the most reliable and versatile Hawk players in recent memory. One of the team's co-captains, the southpaw led the team in victories for the third straight season, while batting .293 and scoring 29 runs.
As for the youth movement, sophomore Ryan Stadanlick and freshmen Mike Gentile, Brian Schappert and Matt Godusky served notice that they would be contenders for all-conference recognition in the near future.
Adjusting from shortstop to centerfield in his second season, Stadanlick's established him as one of the A-10's top run producers. After a slow start, he batted .306 over the second half of the year and finished the season with 40 runs scored, and team leading totals of eight home runs, 44 RBI and 23 stolen bases.
Gentile and Schappert shared the team's Rookie of the Year award. A sweet swinger, Gentile ranked among the A-10's top hitters most of the year. The first baseman placed second on the team with a .336 average, he also scored 25 runs, drove in 27 and stole eight bases. Schappert took over at shortstop and became more comfortable as the year progressed.
Joining Stadanlick as one of just two players to start all 54 games, he batted .333 over the team's final 27 games and finished with 31 runs scored, 30 walks and seven steals. Godusky hit .270 and added a couple of home runs.
While consistent pitching remained a struggle throughout the season, Pitcher of the Year junior Ryan Hoagey developed into one of the A-10's workhorses. He appeared in 18 games and finished the regular season as the A-10 leader in innings pitched. He also topped the team in wins, starts, complete games and strikeouts.
Freshman Adriano Petrutz topped the team in ERA and rookie Jeff Williams became a capable solution out of the pen. Senior Joe Mucci was again one of the team's most effective relievers. Junior Al Braun and sophomore Jason Volker were always willing to take the ball.