Thursday, March 20, 2014

Weekend College Baseball Conference Preview: March 21-23

By PATRICK GORDON | Managing Editor
March 20, 2014, 8:00 P.M.
@Philabaseball

Three of Philadelphia's five D1 baseball programs open the conference portions of their schedules this weekend.  Here's a breakdown of each series. We'll have a conference wrap published either late Sunday night or early Monday morning. 

Temple (5-9 overall, 0-0 in AAC)  at  Memphis (14-6 overall, 0-0 in AAC)

About Temple: The Owls travel to Memphis for a three game series against a strong Tigers club sporting a 9-2 mark at home ... Friday's contest marks Temple's first contest in the AAC ... Robert Amaro and Derek Peterson have paced the Owls offense thus far, accounting for 32% of the club's run production (21 of 57 team RBIs) ... Defense has been a problem for Temple as the Owls rank 264th in fielding in the country with 27 errors ... Simon Matthews has surrendered 29 hits over 13 1/3 innings.

About Memphis: Caleb Wallingford is among the national D1 leaders in ERA, sporting a 0.33 mark over four starts and 27 innings pitched ... The Tigers opened the season winning 11 of their first 12 contests but have lost five of their last eight since dropping a 17 inning affair against Central Arkansas on March 7 ... Carter White is 9-for-18 with a pair of doubles and a home run over the last six games.

Series Probables for Temple and Memphis
Friday: Matt Hockenberry (2-0, 2.36 ERA) vs. Caleb Wallingford (3-0, 0.33)
Saturday: Preston Hill (0-2, 4.70 ERA) vs. Jon Reed (2-0, 4.03 ERA)
Sunday: Simon Matthews (0-4, 12.15 ERA) vs. TBA

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Saint Joseph's (8-6 overall, 0-0 in A-10)  at  George Washington (6-11 overall, 0-0 in A-10)

About Saint Joseph's: The Hawks trounced Monmouth on Wednesday in a rain shortened contest, 14-4 ... Brian O'Keefe leads the Hawk offense with a .417 average to go along with 14 runs scored, 15 RBIs and a .617 slugging percentage ... Tommy Cunningham is hitting .327 and has reached base safely in every contest this season ... Daniel Thorpe leads the starting rotation with 24 strikeouts over 26 1/3 innings ... The Hawks have not yet announced their starting pitchers for the three game weekend series.

About George Washington: The Colonials are ranked fourth in pitching in the A-10 with a 4.19 ERA ... Owen Beightol leads the Colonials with a .333 batting average and six multiple-hit games through the first 17 games of 2014. He also leads the team in slugging percentage (.491), on-base percentage (.412), runs scored (12), home runs (2) and walks (7) ... Jacob Williams (2-1, 1.85 ERA, 24.1 IP, 7 K) will start Friday's contest for GW. 

Series Probables for Saint Joseph's and George Washington
Friday: TBA vs. Jacob Williams (2-1, 1.85 ERA)
Saturday: TBA vs. Aaron Weisberg (0-3, 4.38 ERA)
Sunday: TBA vs. Bobby LeWarne (1-2, 2.45 ERA)

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UMass (1-12 overall, 0-0 in A-10)  at  La Salle (3-16 overall, 0-0 in A-10) 

About UMass: This series was originally scheduled to be played in Amherst, but field conditions precipitated the scheduling change ... The Minutemen have struggled with their lone win coming against North Carolina A&T ... The team is hitting .225 on the year while opponents are hitting .278 ... The pitching staff has uncorked 17 wild pitches.

About La Salle: The Explorers staff WHIP is ranked 281st in the country at 1.92 ... Kevin Barron has reached base safely in all 19 games this season ... George Smith Jr. is hitting .380 over his last six games ... Friday's starter, Shane Hollman, has struck out 21 batters over 21 2.3 innings.

Series Probables for UMass and La Salle
Friday: Shane Hollman (2-1, 4.15 ERA) vs. Conor LeBlanc (1-2, 2.76 ERA)
Saturday: Joey Ravert (1-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Ryan Moloney (0-4, 7.25 ERA)
Sunday: TBA vs. TBA

- The Philadelphia Baseball Review is Philadelphia's top baseball news source for Phillies analysis and coverage.  

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