Baseball To Face St. John’s Tuesday On ESPN3
Baseball To Face St. John’s Tuesday On ESPN3
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team heads to St. John’s University Tuesday for a non-conference clash. The game is slated for 3:00 p.m. at Jack Kaiser Stadium and will be aired live on ESPN3.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (13-15-1, 8-7 America East)
UAlbany comes off a 2-2-1 week, in which the Great Danes captured a non-conference win and a tie at Marist in a non-conference doubleheader that was cut short due to darkness. Over the weekend, UAlbany went 1-2 against America East opponent Binghamton, winning game one 5-3 in extra innings before falling 4-3 in the nightcap and 4-1 in Sunday’s rubber match. Currently, the Great Danes are tied with Hartford for second place in the conference standings with an 8-7 record. On the season, UAlbany is batting a collective .251 average led by freshman Matt Hinchy (.347), junior Josh Nethaway (.324), and senior Nolan Gaige (.278). Defensively, the Danes are fielding .962, while the pitching staff has steadily lowered it earned run average to 4.89.
THE UALBANY COACH: Jon Mueller (14th season, Eckerd College ‘92)
Jon Mueller is in his 14th season as the head coach of the University at Albany baseball program. 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 292 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 one in each of the past two seasons.
SCOUTING THE RED STORM (15-21, 5-7 BIG EAST)
St. John’s, the reigning BIG EAST regular season and conference tournament champion, as well as NCAA Super Regional participant, comes off a 2-1 series against Georgetown. The Red Storm fell 3-0 in the series opener, but rallied to top the Hoyas, 4-3 and 20-1, capturing the conference series. So far this spring, St. John’s owns a .266 team batting average led by Frank Schwindell (.340, 40 RBI), Zach Lauricella (.330), Martin Kelly (.304), and Danny Bethea (.300). Defensively, the Red Storm is fielding .948 with a 5.18 ERA as a squad.
THE ST. JOHN’S COACH: Ed Blankmeyer (18th season, Seton Hall ’76)
In his 18th season with the Red Storm, Blankmeyer has a 604-371-3 and has led the squad to one NCAA Super Regional appearance, eight NCAA Regional appearances, three BIG EAST Tournament crowns and four BIG EAST regular season titles. In addition, lBlankmeyer has guided St. John’s to six 40-win seasons, six 30-win seasons and at least 29 wins in 15 of his 17 seasons. He has been named BIG EAST Coach of the Year a conference-record five times, ABCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year four times, has had 77 All-BIG EAST selections and has seen 57 of his players drafted and/or signed to professional contracts.
THE ALL-TIME SERIES
The Red Storm leads, 12-2, in the all-time series, including wins in the last seven contests. Last season, St. John’s won both meetings on March 16th and 17th by the same score, 8-3. Against the in-state foe, UAlbany looks to get back in the win column for the first time since 2010 when the Great Danes won the opener of the three-game series, 9-6, on March 19th.
TOP DOG OF THE WEEK
Junior Josh Nethaway piloted UAlbany with a .450 batting average and a .611 slugging percentage, leading the Great Danes to wins over Marist and Binghamton. With three doubles on the week and 10 this season, Nethaway broke into UAlbany’s top-5 all-time with 36 two-baggers in his career. Nethaway recorded three multi-hit performances, including going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a double against Marist, and a pair of 2-for-3 efforts vs. Binghamton.
TOP HURLER OF THE WEEK
In two outings last week, sophomore southpaw Andrew Jaurique picked up both a win and a save, allowing zero runs and just one hit in four innings of work. In UAlbany’s 5-4 win over Marist, Jaurique sat the Red Foxes down in order in the ninth, earning the save. Against Binghamton, Jaurique earned the win in the Great Danes’ 5-3 extra-inning victory, as he threw three scoreless frames, allowing just one hit and struck out one.
TOP ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Freshman southpaw Sam DeCelle had an outstanding outing for UAlbany, hurling eight and a third innings, allowing just one run, five scattered hits, while striking out one in a no-decision against Marist. DeCelle came out of the bullpen in the first inning, immediately getting the Danes out of a jam, and then went the distance until the game was called due to darkness, tied 6-6 after nine.
UAlbany head coach Jon Mueller now has 292 career wins. Mueller is in his 14th season at the helm and ranks first in UAlbany baseball coaching victories with a 292-398-5 record.
GAIGE’S RECORD-BREAKING HITS
With 221 career hits, senior Nolan Gaige ranks first in UAlbany’s Division I program history and second all-time. He is nine away from stealing Michael Oliva’s record (229: 1997-01). In addition, Gaige is UAlbany’s all-time triples leader with 15 in his career.
Senior Nolan Gaige is UAlbany’s all-time leader for at-bats. Playing and starting in 186 games in his career (5th all-time), Gaige — a mainstay in the leadoff spot — has recorded 724 career at-bats.
EARLY START SUCCESS
When UAlbany scores first, the Great Danes own an 11-4-1 record this spring. On the contrary, when UAlbany’s opponent gains the initial lead, UAlbany is 2-11.
UAlbany hosts Hartford in a key America East Conference three-game series. Saturday’s doubleheader is set for 1:00 p.m. at Varsity Field. Sunday’s single game is also slated for 1:00 p.m.