Baseball Heads West for Atlantic 10 Series Against Saint Louis
Courtesy: SJU Athletic Communications  
Release:  05/03/2007

May 3, 2007

PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team will travel to Missouri this weekend for a three-game series with the Saint Louis University Billikens at SLU's Billiken Sports Center. Saint Louis is the defending conference champion, having won the Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship in 2006. The Hawks enter the weekend on a positive note, having won their previous game at Duquesne by a 10-8 score. SJU is 7-32 overall and 4-14 in the Atlantic 10. Saint Louis comes into Friday's game at 11-33 and 7-10 in A-10 play.

On Sunday, Saint Joseph's stopped an eight-game skid, defeating Duquesne 10-8 in the second half of a doubleheader. Senior outfielder Matt Godusky was 4-for-5 with three runs scored, 4 RBIs, and two home runs. His second two-run shot of the game gave SJU a three-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, and ended up providing the winning margin as junior Andrew Powers closed out the win with the winning run at the plate. For his efforts, Godusky earned Big 5 Baseball Player of the Week honors.

The Billikens had their most recent game, a mid-week contest against Missouri State, halted by lightning. SLU spent last weekend in the Philadelphia area taking on the Temple Owls. SLU dropped two of three in the series, losing 12-10 on Friday, winning 14-10 on Saturday, and falling on Sunday by a 7-0 score.

Sophomore infielder Tom Pinnell leads the Billikens with a .316 batting average. He also leads the squad in hits with 49, and his .413 slugging mark is tied for tops on the team. Four players are tied for the lead in home runs with two, including junior infielder Greg Rodgers, who leads the Billikens with 22 runs batted in. Rodgers also has the team's best on-base percentage with a .428 mark.

On the mound, Saint Louis is led by seniors Ryan Bird and Eric Rohr and sophomore Dave Sever. Sever is 4-5 with a 3.31 earned run average and a team-high 56 strikeouts. Bird has an ERA of 3.75 and has made 10 starts on the season. Rohr leads the squad in innings pitched (73.0) and has recorded SLU's only two complete games this season. In the bullpen, sophomore lefthander Mark Zielinski (1-2, 4.62 ERA in 25.1 IP) has made 21 appearances this season to lead all Billiken hurlers. Junior righthander B.J. Rodrigue has notched two saves on the year.

For the Hawks, sophomore Ben Wendle continues to produce offensively. His .319 average leads all Hawk regulars, and his 138 at bats, 26 runs scored, 44 hits, 15 doubles, five home runs, 31 RBIs, and .536 slugging percentage are all tops on the SJU roster. Freshman Drew Smith has seen more action behind the plate in recent weeks, and has accumulated a .379 average in 23 games. Smith leads the Hawks in on-base percentage at .431 and ranks third on the squad in doubles (six) and second in slugging (.500). Freshman David Valesente has also been impressive in his first season on Hawk Hill, hitting at a .309 clip while seeing action in 32 of SJU's 39 games. His 13 RBIs put him third on the team behind Wendle and junior outfielder Jeremy Jakubowski (15).

The Hawk pitching staff has continues to be led by freshman southpaw Randall Mower. Mower leads the team in victories (three), ERA (4.85), starts (12), innings (52.0), and strikeouts (37). Senior Jeff Williams is second on the squad in ERA (5.86) and appearances (14) this season. Williams has pitched in 69 games in a Crimson and Gray uniform, placing him third on the program's all-time list and just four appearances away from the top spot. Junior lefty Mark Imbo leads the team with 16 appearances, which brings his career total to 52. That number puts him in a tie for 10th on the all-time list.

This weekend's series starts on Friday night at the Billiken Sports Center. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Saturday's game will be played at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday's series-ender will start at 1:00 p.m. (all times Eastern).

Pitching Probables
Fri., May 4: RHP Jeff Williams (1-5, 5.86) vs. RHP Brock Hewitt (0-8, 6.67)
Sat., May 5: LHP Randall Mower (3-3, 4.85) vs. RHP Eric Rohr (4-4, 3.95)
Sun., May 6: RHP Mark Dolaghan (0-3, 7.24) vs. RHP Dave Sever (4-5, 3.31)