Bonnies’ Phillips opens up about draft day nerves and “the grind”

By Jeff Uveino @realjuveino 

It is every college baseball player’s goal to get drafted by a major league team. However, only about 10% of NCAA players nationally accomplish this, most of them coming from large schools in the south.

In the 9th round of the 2017 MLB draft, the San Francisco Giants made St. Bonaventure’s Aaron Phillips one of these select few.

A key part of the Bonnies for the past three seasons, Phillips excelled as an elite two-way player. A leader both on the mound and at the plate, Phillips was named a finalist for the John Olerud National Two-Way Player of the Year.

However, it is Phillips’ arm that got the Giants’ attention.

Continue reading “Bonnies’ Phillips opens up about draft day nerves and “the grind””

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Frustration fuels Bonnies Loss

By Michael Hogan @Mike_Hogan42

The Bonnies found themselves in another nail biter early against Hartwick, until two late goals by the Hawks sunk them in a 3-1 defeat Saturday evening at Marra Athletics complex.

The Hawks were the first to draw blood as senior, Mark Berry, found the back of the net in the 17th minute off of a beautiful assist by teammate Harry Morton.

The Bonnies had a frustrating first half on the offensive side, as they squandered chances to score. One of those chances came in the 28th minute when an offside call neglected Nicola Bonso’s potential equalizer.

Continue reading “Frustration fuels Bonnies Loss”

Bonnies bounce back in return home

By Teddy Caputo @teddy_capoots

After dropping their last two contests the St. Bonaventure men’s soccer team came back in a big way this past Sunday at the Marra Athletics Complex, coming out with a 1-0 victory over the Albany Great Danes.

On a beautiful and sunny day the home crowd was filled with energy and excitement.

The Great Danes put pressure on the Bonnies early with two shots that could have changed the dynamic of the game. Senior forward Afonso Pinheiro’s shot bounced off the left post and went out of bounds. The other close call came when Bonnies goalie Luke Iacobellis deflected Great Danes’ forward Nico Solabarrieta’s shot to keep the game scoreless.

Hustle and physicality dominated the match with several fouls on both teams.

In the 47th minute a collision between Bonnies’ Kieran Toland, Kosi Nwarfornso and Great Danes’ goalie Danny Vitiello had Toland slow to get up at first, but he shook it off on the sideline and returned later.

Before the game, Toland said his team knew they needed to outwork the Great Danes if they wanted to get a victory.

“Our work rate was absolutely incredible,” Toland said. “We could have been a little bit more composed with the ball and kept the ball a little more; but we said that if we work harder than they do, then we will win the game.”

That hard work paid off in the 55th minute of the game when junior midfielder Isaiah Wilson scored after Nwafornso’s shot deflected off Vitiello and back to Wilson who chipped the ball into the goal giving the Bonnies a 1-0 lead.

Wilson said it felt good to get his third game-winner of his collegate career.
“I was a little nervous,” Wilson said. “But I remember my coach telling me to stay calm when I get around the net, and that’s what I did.”

As the game wrapped up an altercation broke out between Pinheiro and the Bonnies’ Nicola Bonso after both players made valiant efforts going for the ball and slid into each other. The scuffle was broken up immediately and play resumed.

The Bonnies held off the Great Danes’ for the rest of the game, winning 1-0.
The win marks their third of the season, giving them a 3-2-1 record on the season so far.

This was their first win after losing their previous two games against Canisius and Houston Baptist.

The Bonnies will look to carry the momentum from this home victory into their next match against Hartwick, who comes to the Marra Athletics Complex on Saturday, September 16th at 7:00 pm.

Golden Griffins spoil Bonas homecoming

By Isaiah Blakely @IsaiahBlakely3

The St. Bonaventure Bonnies fell to its rival Canisius Golden Griffins, 2-0 on a chilly Friday night in its first home matchup at Marra Athletics Field Complex.

The first-half featured back and forth chances for both teams starting with Bona captain Paul Afful putting a free kick just over the goal.

Moments later the Golden Griffins missed a golden opportunity when midfielder Melvin Blair shot wide from about six yards out. They continued the pressure when midfielder Evan Walsh half-volleyed from inside the box, but shot over the goal.

The Golden Griffins came out in the second half with most of the scoring opportunities including forward Hakeem Milson putting a shot over the bar inside the penalty area. In the 57th minute, the scoring drought gave way as Alex Grattarola scored a header off a corner kick giving the Golden Grifffins a 1-0 lead.

The Bonnies tried to answer back with pressure of their own when Afful put a stingy shot on goal that was saved by Griffins’ goalie Marco Trivellato.

Bonnies goalie Luke Iacobellis made one of his seven saves on a Canisius counter attack to keep the Bonnies just one goal down.

Seconds later, after Iacobellis’s save, the Golden Griffins scored again off a corner kick from forward Filippo Tamburini.

The Bonnies couldn’t generate anymore offense losing 2-0.

Bonnies coach Kwame Oduro stressed the need to work on set pieces.

“Their two goals came from set pieces,” Oduro said. “If we take care of that, hey, it can be the difference.”

To get back on track, Oduro said the Bonnies needed to start scoring some goals as they only have two goals in their last three contests.

“We are too static in our movement,” Oduro said. “We have to start creating more dangerous chances in front of goal.”

Bonaventure continues to look for their first home win of the season Sunday at 1:00 against Albany.

Baseball: Bonnies Draw Familiar Foe in A-10 Tournament

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(Aaron Phillips, photo credit Olean Times Herald)

By Josh Svetz @Svetz17

After the St. Bonaventure Bonnies secured the third seed last Friday against Fordham, fans waited anxiously to see who the Bonnies would face in the opening round of the A-10 Tournament.

Before the Saturday games started, it looked certain the Bonnies would take on the surging Saint Joseph’s Hawks for the first time this season.

But a strange wave of events commenced.

The Hawks, who had previously dominated George Washington two games straight, lost it’s regular season finale to the Colonials in a blow out. Then, after being blown out twice by St. Louis, George Mason put together a last-ditch effort and won the final game against the Billikens securing the final spot in the tournament.

St. Louis moved down to the five spot, pushing George Washington up to the fourth and Davidson rested in the sixth spot.

The Hawks were out, and the Bonnies now had a date with one of the toughest teams they’ve faced in conference this season, the Davidson Wildcats.

Back in March, the Bonnies were a sub-par club looking for answers. Out of conference they sat at 5-5, but had a little momentum going with two straight wins over North Dakota State, winning both games despite being shut out in the series opener.

Opening conference play against the Wildcats in North Carolina, the Bonnies stayed neck and neck, tied at one, through four innings.

Then, the inflammation in starting pitcher Brandon Schlimm’s throwing arm acted up. Schlimm gave up three runs and the Bonnies were down 4-1.

Hope shined through when the Bonnies got a man on base, but the sunshine vanished quickly.

A rain delay forced the game to be finished the next day and the Bonnies couldn’t recover, losing 9-2. Just an hour after that loss, the Bonnies had to go out and play again, losing by the same score.

But the next day, in the final game of the series, the Bonnies dominated the Wildcats 17-4, led by a six hit, eight RBI domination by David Hollins. The Bonnies also got a great performance from starting pitcher Aaron Phillips, giving up three-earned runs, five hits and tossing seven strikeouts.

That loss sent the Wildcats into a tailspin, dropping the next five games.

With Phillips likely to start and the Bonnies not dealing with rain delays, pitcher injuries or home field advantage, it’s more likely the team that beat the Wildcats last time will show up, rather than the shell that got beat down twice in a row in a span of three hours.

Still — winning is far from guaranteed.

The Wildcats feature top conference players like Will Robertson and Brian Fortier, two bombers ranking top 30 in the NCAA for home runs.

In fact, the Wildcats rank 20th in the NCAA, averaging 1.26 home runs per game.

But the biggest factor may be ace pitcher Durin O’Linger, who’s compiled a 1.33 ERA through the months of April and May in seven starts.

Despite the offense on both sides, a pitching duel looks evident with two studs like Phillips and O’Linger likely slinging for their teams.

The number one key to victory is Phillips keeping the Wildcat bombers at bay, something he should be able to do giving up just six home runs this season.

As much success as the Bonnies have had recently, there’s two teams that have come to play this season.

This afternoon we find out if the Bonnies are the back-to-back losers Davidson saw in the first two games, or the dominant winners that closed out the Wildcats in the final game of the series.

Baseball: Bonnies blast Flyers in A-10 opener

(Aaron Phillips Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By David Malchak

The St. Bonaventure University baseball team emerged victorious over Dayton on Saturday afternoon, winning 9-0 in the first Atlantic 10 home game.

The Bonnies were carried on a dominant starting pitching performance by junior Aaron Phillips. He struck out seven batters in eight innings, and only gave up four hits and three walks.

Continue reading “Baseball: Bonnies blast Flyers in A-10 opener”

Men’s basketball: No NIT for Bonnies; season ends with 20-12 record

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

For the first time in St. Bonaventure men’s basketball program history, the Bonnies reached 20 wins in a season but will not participate in a postseason tournament.

After Friday’s Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal loss to Rhode Island ended Bona’s chances of getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, SBU learned Sunday night that it would not be receiving an invite to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

At 20-12, with a fifth-place finish in the Atlantic 10, Bonaventure had a case to be one of the 32 teams in the NIT field. However, the Bonnies had no wins over teams in the top 100 of the KenPom ratings. Also, 10 teams received automatic bids by virtue of winning their conference’s regular season championship but failing to win their conference tournament.

Bona has a policy against accepting any invitation to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), so the careers of seniors Denzel Gregg and David Andoh came to an end on Friday. The brown and white won 20 games in back-to-back years for the first time since the 1976-77 and 1977-78 seasons.

Men’s basketball: Rhody big men prove too much for Bonnies in A-10 quarterfinal

(Photo Credit: GoBonnies.com)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

PITTSBURGH — For a moment on Friday afternoon, it looked like the St. Bonaventure Bonnies were going to be able to overcome the many challenges Rhode Island presented them.

Two Matt Mobley free throws gave Bona a 35-34 lead with 17 minutes to play in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinal matchup. Ultimately, however, Hassan Martin and Kuran Iverson were too much for the Bonnies to handle. The Rams (22-9) won 74-63 and Bonaventure (20-12) must wait for Sunday night to see if its season will continue in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Iverson grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, while Martin scored 19 points and collected eight boards. The Rams worked inside-out, allowing E.C. Matthews to enjoy a 20-point day.

Coach Danny Hurley’s team was a matchup nightmare, and SBU didn’t have an answer for the big men.

“They were more physical than us,” said Bonnies coach Mark Schmidt. “We had a hard time scoring the ball. We tried to change things up (defensively), 1-3-1, 2-3, man-to-man, try to fool them. At times it worked, but they hurt us inside from an offensive standpoint and we didn’t have much resistance.

“One of our weaknesses is we have young guys inside and they took advantage of that. Their defense was really effective… when we had open looks we needed to knock those open looks down in that area as well.”

Continue reading “Men’s basketball: Rhody big men prove too much for Bonnies in A-10 quarterfinal”