King warming up at plate for St. Bonaventure

Tiesi's shutout streak ends at 83 2/3 innings



April 14, 2004|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Craig King admits that playing collegiate baseball in upstate New York for St. Bonaventure University in April isn't exactly an ideal situation.

"It's cold here and it's not like playing in Baltimore," said the junior second baseman from Cardinal Gibbons. "But I think warm weather all the time and it helps me a lot."

It doesn't hurt either that his home runs are up over last year (three compared with two last season) and his batting average has climbed to .348 over .336 last season.

The three homers tie him for the team lead, he is third in batting average, third in slugging percentage (.545), first in on-base percentage (.456) and second in walks (10).

King, who bats second, has also been hit by pitches a team-leading three times, apparently taking seriously coach Larry Sudbrook's preaching about "getting on base any way you can."

King and the Bonnies are in second place in the Atlantic 10 East with a 4-2 record, trailing first-place Rhode Island (7-2). Overall, St. Bonaventure has a 9-10 record.

Though many collegiate baseball players wouldn't even consider playing just 65 miles south of the Canadian border where St. Bonaventure is, King said he was impressed by the friendly atmosphere around campus on his visit there.

"I looked at schools in the South but was impressed with the warmness of everybody around the school," he said. "Plus, the scenery is beautiful there and around Niagara Falls. I don't have a lot of time for sightseeing, but I've been to Canada twice and liked it."

As King's collegiate career continues, he carries a quiet pride in having played his high school baseball on the same field where Babe Ruth played as a youngster at St. Mary's Industrial School, which later became Cardinal Gibbons.

"It's nice to tell people about Babe Ruth," said King. "But we don't talk much about it."

King did his best imitation of Ruth last April 20 when he slammed a two-out, ninth-inning, game-winning home run to defeat Temple, 4-2.

Human dimensions

One day after establishing an NCAA Division II record for consecutive scoreless innings (77 2/3 ) with a three-hit 1-0 victory over Kutztown, sophomore softball sensation Kelley Tiesi (Catholic) finally proved she was human.

The Shippensburg pitcher had extended the scoreless streak to 83 2/3 innings, before Mansfield University's Allison Tagliaferri hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning last Saturday in a 5-1 loss to Tiesi and the Lady Raiders.

It was the first earned run Tiesi has yielded this season in 111 1/3 innings, giving her an 0.06 ERA to go along with 187 strikeouts and a 17-1 record.

Shippensburg (32-3 overall, 13-1 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) is ranked second in the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Division II poll.

Et cetera

Freshman attack Claire Edelen (St. Paul's) has played an important role in Middlebury College's 9-0 start this season in women's lacrosse, scoring nine goals and handing out nine assists.

Saint Joseph's sophomore third baseman/pitcher Jason Volker (Cardinal Gibbons) has one home run, 14 RBIs and is hitting .222 this season, while he has made five starts with a 2-4 record, one complete game and a 7.39 ERA. The Hawks are 7-29 overall and 2-7 in the Atlantic 10.

Sophomore goalkeeper Nicki Hunt (St. Paul's) has helped the College of Wooster women's lacrosse team get off to a 3-0 start in the North Coast Athletic Conference, posting a 63.1 save percentage and an 8.18 goals-against average. Wooster is 6-2 overall.

Campbell University freshman third baseman Nick Popp (Cardinal Gibbons) is batting .238 this season in 11 games (seven starts) for the Camels (12-20, 5-10 in Atlantic Sun Conference).

Freshman catcher Adam Grap (Mount Hebron) has made four starts this season for St. Bonaventure and is hitting .154.

Swarthmore freshman softball pitcher Marianne Klingaman (Centennial) has pitched seven complete games this spring, compiling a 3-6 record, a 3.43 ERA, striking out 35 and walking 23. One of Klingaman's victories was a 2-1 decision over Coe College, which was ranked No. 24 in Division III at the time.

Muhlenberg freshman pitcher Brandon Manekin (Pikesville) picked up the first save of his collegiate career on Saturday when he struck out Walt Pyzik with the tying two runs on base and two outs in the ninth inning, preserving a 9-7 victory over Washington College.

Have a Postcard? Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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