PHILADELPHIA – The Saint Joseph's baseball team is preparing for its critical three-game Atlantic 10 set at George Mason this weekend. The series begins on Friday at 3:00 p.m. at GMU's Spuhler Field.
SAINT JOSEPH'S (30-11, 15-5) at GEORGE MASON (27-17, 13-6)
Friday, 3:00 p.m.: RHP Daniel Thorpe (SJU) vs. RHP Anthony Montefusco (GMU)
Saturday, 2:00 p.m.: RHP Jordan Carter (SJU) vs. LHP Jared Gaynor (GMU)
Sunday, 1:00 p.m.: TBA (SJU) vs. RHP John Williams (GMU)
• SJU heads to George Mason for its final road series of the season. The Hawks sit in first place in the Atlantic 10, with the Patriots a game and a half behind in a tie for third.
• This weekend's series marks the first-ever meeting between the two programs. George Mason joined the Atlantic 10 prior to the 2013-14 academic year.
• Graduate student Collin Forgey earned Player of the Week honors from the Atlantic 10, Big 5, and ECAC after hitting .538 in four games last week. Jordan Carter also earned Big 5 honors for the fourth consecutive week.
• Saint Joseph’s reached the 30-win plateau for the first time in program history with a 5-1 victory over Delaware on May 6.
LAST TIME OUT...
...Saint Joseph's reached the 30-win mark for the first time in school history as the Hawks topped Delaware, 5-1, at Smithson Field. Brian Lau's two-run double broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth, and a triple by Brian O'Keefe and a home run from Stefan Kancylarz added insurance runs for SJU.
Over the weekend, the Hawks took two of three from Richmond. Both Daniel Thorpe and Jordan Carter tied the school record for wins in a season as they each notched their eighth victories of the 2014 season. Thorpe had a rocky start, but settled down to retire 17 of 18 Spiders en route to a 10-5 Saint Joseph's win on Friday. In Saturday's game, Carter allowed two runs and struck out seven in eight innings as the Hawks clinched the series with a 5-2 win.
On Sunday, the Spiders scored in each of the final three innings to salvage the final game of the series, 8-5.
Collin Forgey was named the Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Week while earning Player of the Week plaudits from the Big 5 and ECAC. Carter was named the Big 5 Pitcher of the Week, marking the fourth consecutive week he has earned at least a share of the honor.
PUTTIN’ ON THE FRITZ: The Hawks have increased their win total in each of Fritz Hamburg’s six seasons as head coach. The Hawks have averaged better than 22 wins per season under Hamburg, the highest mark in school history, and Hamburg currently ranks as Saint Joseph’s fourth-winningest coach of all-time.
BIG (5) MEN ON CAMPUS: Formed in 2006 as the Diamond Five, Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball aims to increase exposure for college baseball in the Philadelphia area. The organization selects a Pitcher and Player of the Week throughout the year and names an All-Big 5 Team and award winners at the end of the season.
RUBBER ARM: Senior Steven Schuler set a program record for appearances in a season in 2012, pitching in 30 games for the Hawks. Schuler now holds the program’s career mark as well, pitching in the 74th game of his career on March 22. His 2.90 career earned run average ranks him fourth all-time among SJU pitchers who have thrown 60 innings.
HIT EARLY, HIT OFTEN: Saint Joseph’s is currently outscoring its opposition 59-23 in the first inning of games this season. The Hawks are also outscoring their opponents 60-15 in the eighth inning or later, showing a critical ability to both extend leads and come from behind.
HERE’S JOHNNY: Junior catcher Brian O'Keefe is once again on the watch list for the 2014 Johnny Bench Award. Named for Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench, the award is presented annually by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission to the nation’s top collegiate catcher.
THE ‘PEN IS MIGHTY: Senior Steven Schuler and junior Lansing Veeder have proved a formidable combination at the back end of the Saint Joseph’s bullpen. The pair has combined for 40 appearances and a 0.85 ERA in 52.2 innings thus far this season.
MONSTERS OF MASH: The Hawk bats exploded at Fordham on April 11 and 12, racking up 30 runs in two games against the Rams. SJU posted a 13-1 win on April 11 before using an 11-run second inning to crush the Rams, 17-1, on April 12. The Hawks have now scored double-digit runs in nine of their 20 conference games.
A DAY FOR THE AGES: Jordan Carter had an afternoon to remember at Fordham on April 12. He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and struck out 15 batters as the Hawks routed the Rams, 17-1. The 15 strikeouts tied a 49-year-old school record set in May of 1965. After his historic performance, Carter pulled in numerous national and regional accolades:
• Collegiate Baseball Newspaper/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week
• National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Pitcher of the Week
• NCAA.com Top Performer of the Week
• ECAC Division I South Co-Pitcher of the Week
• Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week
• Big 5 Baseball Pitcher of the Week
POP IN THE CLUTCH: Collin Forgey has a knack for coming through in the clutch during his time on Hawk Hill. He lived up to that reputation once again on April 13, as his two-out, two-run double in the top of the ninth gave the Hawks a 4-3 win at Fordham to complete a series sweep. It marked the seventh time Forgey has scored or driven in the go-ahead/game-winning run in the eighth inning or later in his time at Saint Joseph's:
• April 24, 2013 vs. Delaware (sac fly in the bottom of the 10th)
• April 26, 2013 at Massachusetts (two-run double in the top of the 12th)
• March 1, 2014 vs. Gardner-Webb (scored winning run in the bottom of the 12th)
• April 1, 2014 at Villanova (scored go-ahead run in top of the 10th)
• April 2, 2014 vs. Villanova (two-run single in the top of the 8th)
• April 8, 2014 at Penn (two-run home run in the top of the 13th)
• April 13, 2014 at Fordham (two-run double in the top of the 9th)
BE LIKE MIKE: The Hawks had led 2-0 for most of the afternoon on April 18, but a two-run eighth tied the game between Saint Joseph’s and Dayton heading to the ninth. Mike Muha led off the inning and ended any drama right away, hitting the first pitch of the inning over the fence in left to give the Hawks a 3-2 walk-off win.
RING FOR THE BELL: Saint Joseph’s claimed its second Liberty Bell Classic in three years on April 22, beating La Salle by a 10-3 score at Citizens Bank Park. The Hawks scored five runs in the first inning and three in the eighth on the way to the program’s second victory in four title game appearances.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG NIGHT: Under the lights at Citizens Bank Park, Collin Forgey etched his name in Hawk baseball lore with a 6-for-6 performance. The graduate student hit six singles, a new school record, and eclipsed the single-game record for hits as well with SJU’s first-ever six-hit game.
BREAK OUT THE BROOMSTICKS: Saint Joseph's swept crosstown rival La Salle in a three-game set April 25-27. In the final two games of the series, the potent Hawk offense scored 25 runs and pounded out 34 hits. Senior Mike Muha led the way, going 10-for-16 (.625) with a 1.258 OPS during the series, en route to both Atlantic 10 and Big 5 Player of the Week honors.
CRUISE CONTROL: Senior Daniel Thorpe struggled early on May 2, allowing five runs in the second inning, but the veteran righthander settled in and retired 17 of the next 18 hitters he faced as the Hawks topped Richmond, 10-5. Thorpe improved to 8-0 on the season with the win.
JORDAN RULES: Senior Jordan Carter fanned seven in eight innings in a 5-2 win over Richmond on May 3 and was named the Philadelphia Big 5 Baseball Pitcher of the Week for the fourth consecutive week. During that span, Carter posted a mind-boggling 35-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25.0 innings.
PUT ANOTHER RECORD ON: Seniors Daniel Thorpe and Jordan Carter each earned their eighth win of 2014 against Richmond. That ties the school record for wins in a single season, matched most recently by Kyle Mullen in 2013.
AROUND THE A-10: Here’s a look at the rest of the Atlantic 10 schedule for the weekend:
Fordham at Saint Louis
La Salle at Dayton
Rhode Island at George Washington
Richmond at St. Bonaventure
VCU at Massachusetts
SAINT JOSEPH’S RECORD WHEN...
...scoring first: 24-6
...leading after three innings: 19-4
...leading after six innings: 21-2
...leading after seven innings: 23-0
...leading after eight innings: 22-0
...trailing after three innings: 8-6
...trailing after six innings: 5-8
...trailing after seven innings: 3-10
...trailing after eight innings: 3-11
...tied after eight innings: 3-0
...playing extra innings: 4-0
...playing a one-run game: 6-2
...scoring 10 runs or more: 13-0
...scoring three runs or less: 3-7
...allowing 10 runs or more: 0-3
...allowing three runs or less: 21-0
...facing a left-handed starter: 8-5
...facing a right-handed starter: 22-6