Teams get into A-10 schedule

By Scott Cournoyer

Courtesy Charlotte Media Relations

As spring attempts to wash away the cold of winter, the sights and sounds of America’s pastime finally returned as the Atlantic 10 Conference began over the weekend, giving a peek at who could be the upper-tier squads throughout the season.

Rivers, Gillespie power Charlotte

With a deep core of seniors and juniors returning, Charlotte (15-5, 3-0 Atlantic 10) came out of the weekend untouched, sweeping the weekend series, 3-0, against St. Bonaventure.

Led by juniors Ryan Rivers and Kevin Gillespie, the 49ers hung on to win 11-10 in the extra-inning affair Friday. On Saturday, Charlotte flexed its offensive muscles in a doubleheader as Rivers collected over 5 RBIs during the series.

As of Mach 29, Charlotte carries a seven-game winning streak, averaging just over 11 runs per game scored over that span.

GWU blasts Dukes

With a deep bench and eight returning seniors, George Washington (12-10, 3-0 A-10) opened up conference play with a spark after losing the previous two games against Georgetown and George Mason.

The Colonials racked up 29 runs offensively during the three-game series against Duquesne, including a complete game, one-run performance by junior Eric Cantrell who holds a .228 batting average against for the season.

George Washington has proven that it has the tools to compete with anyone in the conference at the plate, having four players who have compiled at least 20 RBIs on the season and seven who have 10 or more.

Catching lighting in a bottle

Of the teams to sweep the opening conference series, none was more surprising than La Salle (7-14, 3-0 A-10), which defeated Dayton.

The Explorers held the Flyers to just five runs as preseason favorite Dayton wasn’t able to figure out La Salle’s pitching staff. Sophomore Eric Van Wyk cruised over seven and two-thirds innings, striking out five in a win on Friday. The victory was Wyk’s first as a collegiate player in his first collegiate game.

Christy named A-10 Pitcher of the Week

With his dominant performances against Maryland Eastern Shore and Dayton over his last two starts, La Salle sophomore Kevin Christy earned the Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week award.

Christy, who helped the Explorers in their weekend sweep, compiled a 0.75 earned run average and struck out 10 over 12 innings. Christy showed tremendous stamina Saturday, throwing 136 pitches coming off only a couple days of rest.

Scott Cournoyer can be reached at [email protected]