PITTSFIELD, MASS (06/27/02) -- Former Saint Joseph's University baseball standout Mike Minerva recently signed a free agent contract with the Berkshire Black Bears of the independent Northern League. He is the 25th former Hawk player to sign a professional contract, the first since Rob Reed with the Boston Red Sox in 2000. As a senior at Saint Joseph's in 2002, Minerva tied for the team lead with 17 appearances on the mound, including nine starts. Minerva posted a 4-8 record with a 5.30 ERA. He also led SJU with 74.2 innings pitched, 36 strikeouts and five complete games. The right-hander was particularly dominant down the stretch for the Hawks, going 4-4 with a 2.75 ERA and an outstanding 3-1 strikeout to walk ratio over his final 13 appearances (55.2 innings). Minerva's new team is managed by former Big League star George Scott. His teammates include Texas Rangers alum Curtis Goodwin, Justin Varitek (brother of Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek) and Joe Kerrigan (son of former Red Sox manager). The 2002 Hawks finished with a 16-36-1 record overall, 10-14 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The team faced one of the East's most demanding schedules, which included NCAA Tournament qualifiers Virginia Commonwealth, James Madison, George Washington and Richmond, as well as Charlotte, Maryland, and North Carolina State.