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FOUR ADDED TO SAINT JOSEPH'S BASEBALL HALL; 2002 TEAM HONORED
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  09/01/2004
PHILADELPHIA (11/02/02) - Jerry Benetatos, Scott Gilbert, Bob Polletti and Dave Thornton are the four latest inductees to the Saint Joseph's University Baseball Hall of Fame. Their induction is part of the team's annual Awards Dinner held tonight in the University's Flanigan Auditorium and brings the Hall's roster to 20 former players and coaches. Benetatos, a 1969 SJU grad, captured second team all-Middle Atlantic Conference honors as an infielder in 1968 and 1969. The Narberth, Pa. native (Lower Merion H.S.) batted .321 as a junior, leading the team in stolen bases, and upped his numbers to .368 as a senior, striking out just three times 99 at bats. A power-hitting outfielder for the Hawk teams of the mid-1980s, Gilbert ranked as SJU's career leader in doubles (27), homers (18) and RBI (91) when he graduated in 1988. A .314 lifetime hitter, the Richboro, Pa. product (Council Rock H.S.) hit .353 with 11 doubles as a sophomore and .331 as a senior with team-highs of eight home runs, 32 RBI and a .432 on-base percentage. Thornton, a 24th round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 1979, went a combined 16-5 on the mound in his four Hawk seasons. A two-time All-East Coast Conference pick, he garnered first team honors as frosh, going 5-0 and second team as a senior after going 5-1 on the hill. His 16 victories were school record at the time and still rank third all-time. The Rahway, N.J. native (Union Catholic H.S.) was tabbed as the MVP of the Hawks' 1979 team. The final inductee, Polletti was the premier player of his era, starring when baseball returned to Saint Joseph's after World War II. A standout both at and behind the plate, he captained the team as both a junior and senior in 1948 and 1949. The Hawks' 2002 award winners were also honored. Senior Pace Bradshaw (Darnestoown, Md.) and junior Mike Walls were named co-Most Valuable Players. Seniors Justin Godusky (Macungie, Pa.) was recognized as the Hitter of the Year, while senior Mike Minerva (West Roxbury, Mass.) and junior Bill McCollum (Medford, N.J.) A pair of juniors swept the next group of awards, as Kevin Dougher (Blue Bell, Pa.) was tabbed as Defensive Player of the Year and John Kokol (Aston, Pa.) as the Coaches Award winner. Senior Jim Kelly (Leominster, Mass.) was named the recipient of the Loyalty Award, sophomore Erik Vardijan (Lake Forest, Ill.) received the Most Improved Player Award and Brian Anecharico (Phoenix, Md.) was named Freshman of the Year.