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Baseball Heads to Queens for Midweek Contest at St. John's

By: Princeton Athletic Communications
          Release: 04/16/2012
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Freshman Blake Thomsen hit his first career grand slam versus Penn last weekend.
Courtesy: Beverly Schaefer

The Princeton baseball team will travel to Queens, N.Y. for a midweek game against St. John's on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. at Kaiser Field. The nonconference matchup opens a five-game road swing in New York for the Tigers.

Last Time Out: The Tigers (16-13, 9-3 Ivy) won their season series versus Penn, 3-1, sweeping day one action with a 7-3 win and a 4-3 comeback victory. Princeton split day two, dropping a 7-5 decision to the Quakers to open the day, before concluding the series with a 13-7 win.

On Deck: Princeton resumes Ivy play with a four-game series at Columbia from April 21-22 in New York, N.Y. First pitch is at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Rookie Goes Yard: Freshman Blake Thomsen hit his first career grand slam versus Penn in Princeton's series finale 13-7 victory. Thomsen, who started in all three games he played in, hit his long ball in the bottom of the first to lift the Tigers to an 8-1 lead.

On the year, Thomsen is hitting .267 (12-for-45) and has become a more consistent contributor since the Ivy slate commenced. He has 12 RBI, 10 runs, two homers and a double in 15 appearances.

Still Chasin': The Tigers are still one game behind Cornell (10-2) in the Gehrig Division after both squads went 3-1 this past weekend. Princeton maintains sole possession of second place at 9-3, as Columbia and Penn are both 6-6 in league play.

The Tigers and Big Red will square off on April 27 and 29 in a final four-game Ivy weekend before the Ivy League Championship Series in May.

In the League: Sam Mulroy and Alec Keller remain as two of the top hitters in the Ivy League at No. 3 and 4, respectively, and Keller is also ranked No. 3 in fielding. On the mound, Mike Ford and Zak Hermans are in the top-10 in ERA, while Matt Bowman and Hermans are No. 3 and 4, respectively, in strikeouts.

Scouting St. John's: St. John's enter Wednesday's meeting with a 21-15, 8-4 BIG EAST record following its 2-1 weekend versus conference rival Connecticut. On the offensive end, three players are hitting above .300, with Matt Wessinger leading the way at .379 (53-for-140). In addition to his 40 runs, 35 RBI and five home runs, he's been very proficient at stealing bases (23-for-24).

In 15 appearances, spanning 31 innings, reliever Stephen Rivera (3-0) headlines the Red Storm rotation. He has a 1.74 ERA, while throwing 35 strikeouts and allowing 25 hits against. Starting for SJU versus the Tigers is Brad Bellinger, who has a 12.15 ERA in 6.2 innings of work. The freshman has thrown six strikeouts, while giving up six hits and nine runs.  Batters are hitting .231 against him.

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