The Saint Joseph's baseball team opens its 2017 Atlantic 10 slate this weekend at Davidson. The series opener is scheduled for Friday night at 6:00 p.m.
The Hawks were scheduled for their bye week from conference play last weekend as the rest of the league played A-10 series. Davidson, meanwhile, started its conference schedule two weeks ago due to a scheduling conflict at the end of the season.
Friday: RHP Tim Brennan (2-2, 4.45 ERA) vs. RHP Durin O'Linger (1-2, 4.64 ERA)
Saturday: RHP Pat Vanderslice (1-2, 6.56 ERA) vs. RHP Josh Smutzer (4-0, 3.93 ERA)
Sunday: LHP Lucas Rollins (0-1, 3.97 ERA) vs. TBA
Saint Joseph's (5-12 overall, 0-0 Atlantic 10) had its four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday against Villanova as the Wildcats came away with a 7-3 win in the quarterfinals of the Liberty Bell Classic.
Stafford leads the squad in batting average (.333), on-base percentage (.520), slugging percentage (.611), and walks (18). He is also tied for the team lead with 12 runs scored.
Cal Jadacki has also scored 12 times this season and holds team highs in hits (19) and doubles (five). Brian Lau is the Hawks' leading home run hitter with four, while Stafford, Charlie Concannon, and Dominic Cuoci have hit three apiece. Cuoci's 12 runs batted in are also a team-best.
On the mound, Brennan and Hayden Seig lead the team with two wins each, while Justin Aungst and Lucas Rollins have each notched a save. Brennan is the Hawks' leader in strikeouts with 25, while Vanderslice sits one behind.
After a slow start to the season, the Hawk pitching staff has reduced its earned run average by nearly two full runs since coming back to Hawk Hill for its first five home games of the season.
Davidson (11-12 overall, 2-4 Atlantic 10) took two out of three from St. Bonaventure to open conference play two weeks ago, but the Wildcats were swept by Rhode Island last weekend. Due to the change in schedule, Davidson plays its first three conference series at home before hitting the road for its next three.
Brian Fortier leads the Atlantic 10 in home runs with eight and ranks second in RBI with 21. He is also second on the squad with a .323 batting average, ranking behind Justin Lebek's .338. Fortier and Eric Jones have each scored a team-leading 18 runs on the season.
Lebek also leads the Wildcats in on-base percentage, reaching at a .453 clip, while ranking second on the squad with 19 RBI.
Cam Johnson's 10 doubles are tops on the team and tie him for the conference lead. Johnson and Will Robertson have each stolen three bases on the year.
Righthander Josh Smutzer has a 4-0 record and a 3.93 ERA to front the Wildcat pitching staff. Durin O'Linger is Davidson's leader in strikeouts with 32, while Westin Whitmire has served four games thus far.
Whitmire is one of three Wildcats with 10 or more appearances on the mound this season, as he and Z.J. Zabinski have appeared in 10 games while Connor Gordon has thrown in 11.
Last season, Davidson took two out of three from Saint Joseph's at Smithson Field before handing the Hawks a pair of losses at the Atlantic 10 Championship.