April 19, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team returns to Latshaw-McCarthy Field this weekend for a conference series against the rival George Washington Colonials. GW enters the series at 13-23-1 on the season and 5-7 in the Atlantic 10. Last time out, the Colonials ended up in a tie with Delaware State on Wednesday. The two teams were deadlocked at 7-7 when darkness forced the game to be halted after 10 innings. SJU currently sits at 6-26, 3-9 in the Atlantic 10. The Hawks fell 6-3 to NJIT in Newark, NJ on Wednesday night.
The Colonial offense has been led this season by senior infielder Michael Parker. Parker has started every game and has a batting average of .373, good for seventh in the conference. His nine home runs tie him for the team and conference lead with junior Charlie Kruer. Parker also leads the conference in hits (56), RBIs (42), and total bases (97). Kruer is third in the A-10 with 35 RBIs. Redshirt senior Mickey Shupin has also been swinging a solid stick for George Washington. Shupin is hitting .305 on the season with 25 runs scored, and his 16 stolen bases are tops in the Atlantic 10.
Eight pitchers have made double-digit appearances for GW this season. Freshman Scott Swinson leads the staff with eight starts, 56.1 innings pitched, 50 strikeouts, and a 3.67 ERA. He has also amassed a 3-5 record, and is expected to start on Saturday afternoon. Friday's starter will likely be sophomore Pat Lehman. Lehman is 3-4 with a 5.86 ERA. He has made three starts on the season and has recorded two saves as well.
For the Hawks, freshman catcher Drew Smith leads the team in average, coming into the weekend at .341. Freshman David Valesente (.330) and sophomore Ben Wendle (.300) are the other Hawks hitting .300 or better on the season. Wendle's four home runs and 21 RBIs are far and away tops amongst the Hawk lineup, and his 17 runs scored rank him one behind junior Jeremy Jakubowski for the team lead. Wendle had eight hits, two runs scored, and six RBIs last week to earn Big 5 Baseball Player of the Week honors for the first time.
The SJU pitching staff has been led by freshmen this season, as lefthander Randall Mower has emerged as the staff ace. Mower is 3-2 with a 3.98 ERA in his 10 appearances, nine of them starts. He has also struck out a team-leading 32 hitters and is holding opponents to a .266 batting average. In conference play, Mower has sparkled, striking out 21 against just 10 walks, amassing a 2-1 record and 1.90 ERA. Atlantic 10 opponents are hitting just .202 against the rookie. Also pitching well of late for SJU is freshman Mark Dolaghan. Dolaghan got the starting nod last Saturday against La Salle and pitched five solid innings, holding the Explorers to two runs on six hits. Junior Don Werner has also been impressive in A-10 play, ceding just one unearned run in his 6.2 innings of relief work.
The series kicks off Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. at Latshaw-McCarthy Field in Norristown, PA. The second game is slated for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, while Sunday's game has a noon start.
Friday, April 20: RHP Pat Lehman (3-4, 5.86 ERA) vs. RHP Adam Rivera (1-4, 7.59)
Saturday, April 21: RHP Scott Swinson (3-5, 3.67) vs. LHP Randall Mower (3-2, 3.98)
Sunday, April 22: TBA vs. RHP Mark Dolaghan (0-2, 6.12)