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Baseball To Face St. John’s On ESPN3 Tuesday

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Baseball To Face St. John’s On ESPN3 Tuesday

ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team travels to Queens, N.Y. Tuesday, taking on the St. John’s University Red Storm. The game will broadcast live on ESPN3 at 6:00 p.m.

UAlbany (9-29) at St. John’s (30-15) – Kaiser Stadium – Queens, N.Y.
Tuesday, May 6 (6 p.m.)


2014 Record: 9-29, 4-14 America East
Head Coach: Jon Mueller (15th season / 309-437-5)

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 309 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 2-2 series split at non-conference opponent NJIT. The Great Danes scored a season high 11 runs in game one, winning 11-1, before the Highlander captured the nightcap, 5-4. On Sunday, NJIT won the first game, also 5-4, but UAlbany bounced back to win the series finale, 9-5.

UALBANY LEADERS: Batting .247 as a team on the season, UAlbany is led by senior Brian Bullard’s .323 average with 14 RBI and 25 runs scored. Sophomore Evan Harasta follows, batting .314 with 24 runs batted in, while senior D.J. Hoagboon has a .294 average with 21 runs. Defensively, UAlbany has a .946 fielding percentage and the pitching staff owns a collective 6.83 ERA.

2014 Record: 30-15, 10-2 BIG EAST
Head Coach: Ed Blankmeyer (19th season, 642-340-3)

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 642-340-3 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 284 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 Xavier. The Red Storm won by scores of 7-3, 3-2, and 8-7 to extend their conference winning streak to nine. They are now tied for first in the BIG EAST standings. In addition, St. John’s has climbed into the polls for the first time this season with a No. 23 ranking in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. The squad is also now receiving votes in the NCBWA rankings.

ST. JOHN’S LEADERS: As a team, St. John’s is batting .290, with five players currently hitting above the .300 mark. Robbie Knightes’ .368 average leads the way, followed by Jarred Mederos (.363, 34 RBI), Alex Caruso (.348), Matt Harris (.329, 43 RBI), and Michael Donadio (.305, 37 RBI). Defensively, the Red Storm has a .966 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff boasts a collective 3.91 ERA. 

The Red Storm leads, 12-3, in the all-time series. However, 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. UAlbany and St. John’s were supposed to play earlier this season in Albany, but the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.

In game one against NJIT, senior Kevin Archbold (2-3) tossed a complete-game gem, scattering five hits and just one run, while striking out a career-high nine to earn the win. Archbold allowed just one batter past second base and never faced more than one over the minimum in any inning. 

Batting .353 on the week with a .941 slugging percentage, redshirt senior Josh Nethaway totaled 10 RBIs and three home runs in the four-game series with NJIT. Nethaway hit homers in three consecutive games, going 2-for-4 with a two-run home run and three RBIs in game one’s 11-1 victory, and went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBIs in game two. On the second day of play, Nethaway had another outstanding day at the plate, hitting a three-run home run, while going 2-for-3 with four RBIs in the first game. In the nightcap, Nethaway went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, while lining his 52nd career double, which breaks UAlbany’s program record.

Hitting one double on Sunday at NJIT, senior Josh Nethaway has now hit 52 doubles in his career breaking program record-holder Michael Oliva’s (1997-01) top mark. In addition, Nethaway ranks second for career RBIs, currently with 133, passing Oliva’s second-place total (126). Steve Checksfield (1998-01) holds the record with 168.

Nethaway enters Tuesday’s contest with 199 career hits. He is just one away from becoming UAlbany’s seventh member of the 200-hits club.

Sophomore Evan Harasta has reached base successfully in 21 consecutive games. He owns a team-best .462 on-base percentage this spring, while drawing a squad-high 27 walks.

The Great Danes remain on the road but return to conference play this weekend, traveling to Maine for a key three-game America East series. Saturday’s doubleheader is slated for 3:00 p.m.

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