April 26, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team will hit the road this weekend for its first conference road trip in three weeks as the Hawks head to Pittsburgh to take on the Duquesne University Dukes. The Dukes enter the weekend at 13-22 overall and 4-11 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Joseph's, meanwhile, comes into the series with a record of 6-30 and sits just a game behind Duquesne at 3-12 in the conference. The teams will meet for three games this weekend at Duquesne Baseball Field in Green Tree, PA beginning on Friday, April 27.
Last time out, the Hawks lost to the rival Villanova Wildcats, 11-3. Senior Adriano Petrutz had two hits, an RBI, and a run scored in the game, while freshman Drew Smith added three hits and a run of his own. The loss marked the sixth straight defeat for SJU. Duquesne is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak of its own, having last won on April 10th against Ohio University. On Tuesday, the Dukes fell 12-8 to Penn State in a game played at PSU's Medlar Field. Junior first baseman Aaron Janusey hit two home runs and had five RBIs in the losing effort, taking over the team lead in homers with six.
Janusey also leads the Dukes in RBIs with 34 on the year. Sophomore Anthony Manley leads the squad in batting average, hitting .327 on the season. Junior Nolan Pena is right on his heels, hitting at a .326 clip. Sophomore Bill Torre is the team's leader in hits (43) and runs scored (31), while junior Eric Morrison is the Dukes' top base-stealing threat, swiping 14 bases in 20 attempts.
Senior Michael Dukovich leads Duquesne's pitching staff with a 1.16 earned run average in 23.1 innings of work. He is 1-1 in 12 appearances (two starts) with 14 strikeouts, and is holding opposing hitters to a .163 batting average. Senior Jeff Naughton leads the staff in strikeouts, fanning 38 hitters in 53.2 innings. Naughton is 4-3 in his nine appearances, all of which have been starts. Other potential starters include sophomore Gary Pierpont (2-3, 4.43 ERA) and seniors Travis Rife (1-3, 5.98) and Alex Sharick (1-5, 7.80).
Leading the charge for the Hawk offense is sophomore outfielder Ben Wendle. Wendle enters the weekend with a .323 batting average in 33 games. He leads the team in at bats (127), hits (41), runs scored (22), doubles (14), home runs (4), RBIs (24), and slugging percentage (.528). He has also paced the Hawks with 13 multi-hit games and five multiple-RBI games. His 14 doubles tie him for ninth place in the Atlantic 10.
Also hitting well for SJU is freshman catcher Drew Smith. In 21 games, Smith has amassed a .362 batting average with one home run and seven RBIs. He also currently has a five-game hitting streak going into the weekend. Senior Adriano Petrutz has come on strong in conference play as well, batting .302 in Atlantic 10 games. Over the course of his last five games, Petrutz has ten hits in 20 at bats for a .500 average, and has raised his overall batting average over 70 points in recent weeks from .220 to .291.
The Hawks will hand the ball to senior Jeff Williams on Friday afternoon. Williams is 1-4 with a 5.74 ERA on the season. He is second on the staff in appearances with 13, and has worked 31.1 innings this season. Freshman Randall Mower will take the hill on Saturday. The lefthander has been the Hawks' top pitcher this season with a 3-3 record and a 4.79 ERA. Mower has punched out 34 hitters in 47.0 innings, both tops on the squad. Sunday's starter will be freshman Mark Dolaghan. Dolaghan is 0-3 with a 7.25 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 36.0 innings on the season.
The three game series commences Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Saturday's game is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., and Sunday's finale will begin at noon.