The Saint Joseph's baseball team is set to host St. Bonaventure in a key Atlantic 10 series this weekend at Smithson Field. With nine league games remaining on the schedule, the Hawks currently sit in a tie for sixth place in the conference standings, while the Bonnies are in 11th, three games out of the seventh and final spot in the Atlantic 10 Championship.
The forecast for the Philadelphia area over the next three days has led to the schedule for the series to be altered. Originally slated to play a single game on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the teams will now play on Friday at an earlier start time and then play a doubleheader beginning at noon on Saturday.
If the schedule for the weekend should change, it will be announced on SJUHawks.com and the Hawks' social media channels.
Friday: RHP Jordan DiValerio (SJU) vs. RHP Braydon Nelson (SBU)
Saturday (Game 1): LHP Luke Zimmerman (SJU) vs. RHP Ben Contento (SBU)
Saturday (Game 2): RHP Ryan Devine (SJU) vs. RHP Casey Vincent (SBU)
ON THE DIAMOND
SAINT JOSEPH'S (16-23 overall, 8-7 Atlantic 10)
• Last time out, the Hawks fell to Delaware, 6-2, in a Tuesday afternoon non-conference matchup. Matt Cuppari led the way with two base hits on the day for the Hawks.
• Last weekend, SJU dropped two of three at Dayton. The Hawks grabbed a win on Saturday, 7-6, as they battled back from early 4-0 and 6-2 deficits behind timely hitting and 7.2 shutout innings of relief from Luke Zimmerman and Cole Stetzar.
• James McConnon and Brendan Hueth continue to lead the Hawk lineup with batting averages of .314 and .313, respectively. In conference play, Jake Artz has been hitting at a .375 mark, with McConnon at .373 and Hueth at .333 ranking second and third. Hueth leads the team with 35 runs scored, and is also fourth in the conference in stolen bases with 19, which is the most stolen bases a Hawk has accumulated in a season since 2004.
• Andrew Cossetti ranks among the top 10 in the league with a team-leading seven home runs and 36 runs batted in. Dominic Cuoci and Kadar Namey have each gone deep four times for the Hawks, while Cuoci has driven in 31 runs and McConnon has added 25 RBI.
• Jordan DiValerio has been strong on the mound in conference play, posting a 3-2 record with a 3.55 earned run average and striking out 31 against just seven walks in 33.0 innings. Opponents have hit just .208 against DiValerio in his five Atlantic 10 starts.
• Ryan Devine leads the Hawk staff with 18 appearances and four saves on the season. Stetzar, Jose Martinez, and Hayden Seig have appeared in 16 games apiece, while Jake Meyers has taken the hill 14 times.
ST. BONAVENTURE (11-24 overall, 5-10 Atlantic 10)
• The Bonnies roll into town on a two-game winning streak, having held on for a 1-0 win at Binghamton on Tuesday before pounding out a 9-5 home win over Niagara on Wednesday. In Tuesday's game, Joshua Pittman and Donovan Moffat tossed a combined shutout to make a single first-inning run hold up, while on Wednesday, SBU fell behind 3-0 before scoring four times each in the fourth and fifth innings to secure the victory.
• Sam Fuller leads all qualified hitters in the Bonnies' lineup with a .310 batting average; his .408 on-base percentage, league-leading six triples, 16 stolen bases, and 23 runs scored are also tops on the team. Tyler Kelder has hit a team-high six home runs while also leading the squad with 24 RBI.
• Moffat and Murphy O'Brien have each notched three wins on the mound for St. Bonaventure, while Moffat has recorded a team-best 2.45 ERA and is holding opposing hitters to a .216 average over 47.2 innings across a team-high 17 appearances. Braydon Nelson leads the Bonnies with 55 strikeouts accumulated over 52.0 innings.
• The two teams met last season in what turned out to be a six-inning series. The Hawks won the abbreviated series opener on the road, 4-3, before snow canceled the final two games of the set. In the last three-game series between the teams, the Bonnies took two of three at Smithson Field over the final weekend of the 2016 regular season. SBU also leads the all-time series between the two schools, 40-31.