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Saint Joseph's Baseball Hosts Lead-Off Dinner and Hall of Fame Induction
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  02/14/2011

Feb. 14, 2011

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DREXEL HILL, Pa. - The Saint Joseph's baseball program honored the newest members of its Hall of Fame as Steve Yentsch '77 and Bill Weingartner '95 were inducted into the SJU Baseball Hall of Fame at the Second Annual Lead-Off Dinner, held at the Drexelbrook Banquet Facility in Drexel Hill on Saturday night.

Former Philadelphia Phillies shortstop and manager Larry Bowa was on hand to deliver the keynote address as Yentsch and Weingartner joined the 1974 Hawk baseball team as inductees into in the Hall of Fame. Also honored at the event was Joe Levins '72, recipient of the Harry Booth '62 Award for outstanding contributions and dedication to the Saint Joseph's baseball program.

"On behalf of the Saint Joseph's baseball program, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Larry Bowa for joining us," said head coach Fritz Hamburg. "Between his playing and managing days, Larry has always been someone who has approached the game with the deepest passion, unwavering commitment and utmost respect that it deserves. We were fortunate to have had the opportunity to watch and learn from him during his time in Philadelphia, and it was truly an honor for all of us that he took the time to be a part of our special night."

Steve Yentsch finished his Saint Joseph's career with a .343 batting average, good for seventh on the program's all-time list. His .473 mark in 1977 also remains the Saint Joseph's record for highest batting average in a single season. As a freshman in 1974, he played in 13 games for the Hawk team that eventually reached the NCAA Tournament.

Bill Weingartner graduated in 1995 as one of the top hitters the SJU program has ever had, finishing his career at the top of the all-time list in most of the major offensive categories. He remains the program's all-time leader in runs batted in with 176 and is currently ranked in the top 10 all-time in games played (seventh, 194), at bats (second, 719), hits (second, 251), batting average (sixth, .349), runs scored (fourth, 140), home runs (tied for third, 18), doubles (tied for sixth, 43), and triples (seventh, 9). He is also tied with six other Hawks for the most games played in a season with 55, a record first set in 1995. Weingartner also holds two of the top five spots in RBI in a season, driving home 52 in 1994 (third) and 50 in 1995 (fifth).

The 1974 Saint Joseph's baseball team was the second, and to date most recent, Hawk squad to reach the NCAA Tournament. SJU was the Middle Atlantic Conference champion for the second time that season, earning a victory in its first tournament game against St. John's before dropping a contest to Seton Hall and then a rematch with St. John's.

After the inductees were honored, Hamburg introduced the 2011 Hawk squad to the assembled supporters. The current incarnation of the Hawk baseball squad takes to the field for the first time on Friday, February 18, to kick off the season with a four-game set at Old Dominion.