May 20, 2012
PHILADELPHIA - The Saint Joseph's baseball team will begin the quest for its first Atlantic 10 championship on Wednesday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m. as the Hawks will take on Rhode Island at Fordham's Houlihan Park in Bronx, N.Y.
The sixth-seeded Hawks, who are playing in the double elimination tournament for the first time in program history, will face the third-seeded Rams in the second game of the afternoon. Fourth-seeded Massachusetts will take on fifth-seeded Richmond in the opener at noon.
SJU secured its spot in the Championship with a 5-1 win over Xavier on Friday. Junior righthander Kyle Mullen tossed a complete game, fanning nine, while senior co-captain Kevin Taylor hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning and give the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish.
Saint Louis (40-16 overall, 17-7 Atlantic 10) and Dayton (28-28 overall, 17-7 Atlantic 10) shared the regular season title with identical records in conference play. SLU earned the top seed in the tournament via its series win over UD during the season.
Rhode Island (32-23-1 overall, 16-8 Atlantic 10) secured the third seed and will make its 10th straight appearance in the Championship. The Rams took two of three from the Hawks at Smithson Field this season.
Massachusetts (22-20 overall, 14-10 Atlantic 10) and Richmond (27-24 overall, 14-10 Atlantic 10) tied for fourth in the league, but the Minutemen won the season series between the two to earn the fourth seed over the Spiders.
Saint Joseph's (23-30 overall, 13-10 Atlantic 10) will be the sixth seed in its first-ever Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship appearance. The Hawks notched their first winning season in league play since 1984, their second year in the conference, and posted a 6-3 record against teams playing in the 2012 Championship; SJU lost the season series to URI, but took two of three from Massachusetts at home and swept Saint Louis on the road.
Tickets for the event are available at Houlihan Park. Adult tickets are $8 for a Single-Day Pass, while a Four-Day Pass is available for $24. Children 17 and under, senior citizens, and students of Atlantic 10 institutions (with ID) can purchase Single- and Four-Day Passes for $5 and $15, respectively.
The first nine games of the event can be watched online at www.atlantic10.com, while the championship game on Saturday will air live nationally on the CBS Sports Network. Live audio for each of Saint Joseph's games in the Championship will be available at www.SJUHawks.com.