May 21, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - Saint Joseph's senior captain Kevin Taylor and junior righthander Kyle Mullen were named the Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on Monday afternoon. Mullen also nabbed Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week accolades as well.
Taylor, a native of Catonsville, Md., hit .538 over the weekend, including two home runs, and posted four runs batted in during the series at Xavier. His two-run home run in the first inning of Thursday's game helped the Hawks jump out to an early lead, while his solo shot to lead off the top of the eighth on Friday provided what turned out to be the game-winning run in the victory that clinched Saint Joseph's first-ever berth in the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship.
His home run on Friday was his seventh of the season and the 16th of his career, tying him for seventh on the program's all-time list. It was also his sixth round-tripper of the year in conference play, good for the top mark in the league.
Mullen was outstanding on Friday, pitching the Hawks into their first Atlantic 10 Championship with a 5-1 complete game win over Xavier. The Berwyn, Pa., native allowed one unearned run on seven hits while matching his career-high with nine strikeouts. It was the third complete game of the season for Mullen and gave the Hawks a perfect 8-0 record in his A-10 starts this spring.
In addition, Mullen set a new SJU record for innings pitched in a season with 97.2; the previous record of 92.1 had stood since 1965. He also led the Atlantic 10 with 52 strikeouts in conference games, and finished fourth in earned run average (1.99) in league play.
Taylor was previously voted the Big 5's Player of the Week on April 16 after pulling in Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors the week prior.
The Atlantic 10 award is Mullen's second of the season; he was previously named the Pitcher of the Week on April 16 after shutting out Massachusetts. That performance also earned Mullen Big 5 Pitcher of the Week honors, as did his performance against Iona on March 9 in the first-ever game played at SJU's brand new John W. Smithson Field.
The Hawks begin play in the 2012 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship on Wednesday afternoon. The sixth-seeded Hawks will take on third-seeded Rhode Island at 3:30 p.m. at Fordham's Houlihan Park. A free video stream of the game will be available as well as live stats and a streaming audio broadcast; all are accessible from the baseball page at www.sjuhawks.com.