Baseball Sets For Tuesday Clash vs. St. John’s
Baseball Sets For Tuesday Clash vs. St. John’s
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team will take a break from America East play Tuesday, hosting St. John’s University at 3:00 p.m. at Varsity Field. The game will mark the first in this season’s home-and-home series that will conclude in Queens on May 6th.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES
2014 Record: 7-19, 4-8 America East
Head Coach: Jon Mueller (15th season / 307-427-5)
THE COACH: Jon Mueller is in his 15th season as the head coach of the University at Albany baseball program in 2014. The Stillwater, N.Y. native has had proven success as both a player and coach throughout his career. Mueller ranks first among UAlbany’s career leaders with 307 coaching victories, and was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2004. He also led the Danes to the program’s first America East Conference tournament championship title and NCAA appearance in 2007. Mueller has produced dozens of all-conference standouts and has had six players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft under his direction, including two in the past three seasons.
LAST TIME OUT: UAlbany comes off a 1-3 week. After Marist rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extras, UAlbany captured a 7-6 victory over the hosting Red Foxes last Tuesday in a 10-inning affair. Junior Alex Lushkevich scored the game-winning run, getting driven home on sophomore Richard Bacon’s RBI double. Over the weekend, the Danes suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the visiting UMBC Retrievers. UMBC led the entire way in game one’s 4-2 win, but came from behind in Saturday’s nightcap, scoring five unanswered runs in the top of the seventh inning for a 9-5 victory. In Sunday’s series finale, the Retrievers built a 9-0 lead in the first four innings and held on to win 10-6.
UALBANY LEADERS: Batting .242 as a team, redshirt senior Brian Bullard leads the team with a .311 average, along with 10 RBIs and 13 runs. Sophomore Evan Harasta (.298, 14 RBI) and senior D.J. Hoagboon (.296, 14 RBI) sit just on the cusp of the .300 mark. Junior Craig Lepre follows with a .279 average and a team-high 18 RBIs. Defensively, the Great Danes have a .935 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff owns a collective 6.63 ERA.
SCOUTING THE RED STORM
2014 Record: 20-13, 4-2 BIG EAST
Head Coach: Ed Blankmeyer (19th season / 35-93)
THE COACH: The winningest coach in St. John’s baseball history, Ed Blankmeyer is in his 19th season at the helm of the Red Storm baseball program and has posted a 632-398-3 record. Blankmeyer has guided the Red Storm to three BIG EAST Tournament crowns as well as four BIG EAST regular season titles, and has led the squad to the NCAA Tournament eight times, including one NCAA Super Regional appearance. Also the winningest coach in the history of BIG EAST play with 278 conference victories, Blankmeyer has earned BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors a conference-record five times and has been named the ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times.
LAST TIME OUT: St. John’s comes off a 3-0 sweep over conference foe Butler. The Red Storm overcame the Bulldogs by scores of 3-1, 6-1, and 9-7. In game one, St. John’s scored all three runs in the seventh inning, while starter James Lomangino went eight innings on the hill with 10 strikeouts. The Red Storm totaled 12 hits in game two and held the lead the entire contest after scoring two runs in the first. In the series finale, Bret Dennis’ grand slam and a Matt Harris’ two-run blast highlighted a six-run fourth inning that gave the Red Storm the lead for good. Outfielder Alex Caruso and pitcher James Lomangino were both named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for their performances.
ST. JOHN’S LEADERS: As a team, St. John’s is batting .273, led by Jarred Mederos (.327, 23 RBI), Alex Caruso (.320), and Matt Harris (.301, 27). Defensively, the Red Storm has a .967 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff boasts a collective 3.98 ERA.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Red Storm leads, 12-3, in the all-time series. UAlbany came away with the win in their last meeting, winning 8-6 on April 16, 2013 in Queens, N.Y. The Great Danes pounded out 14 hits in the victory and consistently put runs up on the board, scoring in the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth innings.
BULLARD’S BIG BAT
Senior Brian Bullard batted .529 last week (9-for-17) with three RBIs and three runs scored. He also boasted a .667 average in the three-game conference series with UMBC with eight hits total. Bullard went 4-for-4 in the series finale with an RBI sac fly and a run scored, and went 2-for-4 in each game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
NETHWAY NAMED SENIOR CLASS CANDIDATE
Thirty NCAA® baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the diamond were selected as candidates for the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate baseball, and Josh Nethaway has been recognized as a member of that group. Nethaway has notable achievements in all four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. A dual major in Accounting and Rhetoric & Communication, as well as a Business minor, Nethaway boasts a 3.20 cumulative GPA. A two-year captain, Nethaway is actively involved in UAlbany’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a number of community service projects. On the field, Nethaway was named a first-team All-America East outfielder, earned America East Player of the Week accolades twice, and was named the team’s MVP in 2013.
The Great Danes travel to Hartford for a three-game America East Conference series on Saturday and Sunday.