April 12, 2007
PHILADELPHIA - Coming off a 9-3 victory over NJIT on Wednesday, The Saint Joseph's baseball team returns home to host the La Salle Explorers in a weekend series starting on Friday, April 13. The Hawks enter the weekend at 5-23 overall and 2-7 in Atlantic 10 play. La Salle is 11-16 on the season, and 3-6 in the conference. The Explorers have compiled a 4-1 record against Big 5 opponents, while SJU is 0-2.
Leading the charge offensively for the Explorers is junior infielder John Rickards. Rickards is batting .390 on the season and leads the team with two homeruns and 17 RBIs. His .610 slugging percentage is far and away tops in the La Salle lineup. Senior catcher Rich Prall and freshman outfielder John Malloy come in right behind Rickards with averages of .351 and .336, respectively. Malloy leads the team in both runs scored (17) and hits (40).
On the hill, junior Dennis Burge is 3-0 with a 2.73 earned-run average in 11 appearances (three starts). Burge has also recorded one save and 23 strikeouts in his 33 innings of work. Senior lefty Dan Waters leads the team in starts (7), innings (37.2), and strikeouts (33) while compiling a 3-3 record. Senior closer Gerard Breslin has notched four saves on the season to go with his 1-2 record and 3.47 ERA.
For the Hawks, freshmen Drew Smith (.333) and David Valesente (.329) lead the squad in batting average. Sophomore Ben Wendle leads the team in homeruns (3), doubles (8), and RBIs (16) and is second in hits (28) and runs scored (15). Junior Jeremy Jakubowski has the team lead in both of those categories, stroking 31 hits and scoring 17 runs on the season. Senior Mike Gentile has picked up his hitting of late, batting .393 in conference play.
Freshman southpaw Randall Mower leads the Hawk pitching staff. Mower is 2-2 this season with a 4.38 ERA and a team-leading 28 strikeouts in 37 innings pitched. In Atlantic 10 games, Mower is 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA and 17 strikeouts while holding hitters to a .217 average in his 17.2 innings. In relief, juniors Mark Imbo and Don Werner have been solid during the conference schedule. Imbo is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA and six strikeouts in 5.2 innings, and has appeared in five of SJU's nine conference games. Werner has worked 4.2 scoreless innings in A-10 play, allowing just four hits.
The series begins Friday afternoon at 3:00 PM at Latshaw-McCarthy Field in Norristown, PA. Saturday's game is scheduled for 1:00 PM, while Sunday's game has a noon start.