UAlbany Baseball To Host Stony Brook In
Photo: Junior Josh Nethaway is batting .455 in conference play this spring.
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball program continues America East Conference play this weekend, hosting Stony Brook for a three-game series at Varsity Field. UAlbany’s home-opening doubleheader is set to begin Saturday at noon, followed by a single game Sunday, also at noon.
Sat., April 6, 12 p.m.
Brandon McNitt (SBU) 1-2, 3.66 ERA vs. Cameron Sorgie (Albany) 1-2, 4.41 ERA)
Sat., April 6, 3 p.m.
Frankie Vanderka (SBU) 4-2, 1.42 ERA vs. Kasceim Graham (Albany) 3-3, 3.37 ERA
Sun., April 7, 12 p.m.
Daniel Zamora (SBU) 1-5, 4.84 ERA vs. Ryan Stinar (Albany) 1-0, 4.50 ERA
SCOUTING THE SEAWOLVES (9-18, 4-5 America East)
Stony Brook received a lot of national attention last season, finishing with a 52-15 overall record and 21-3 conference mark. The Seawolves are the reigning America East Conference champions, Coral Gables Regional Champions, Baton Rouge Super Regional Champions, and 2012 College World Series participants. Though selected to finish first in the league once again, the Seawolves lost seven players in the 2012 MLB Draft and are currently in a four-way tie for third in the near-mid-season standings, along with UAlbany. After dropping series against Maine and Binghamton, the Seawolves won their first league series of the spring against UMBC last weekend. Stony Brook rallied to win the final two games, 8-0 and 5-2, after falling 2-1 in a 10-inning game one. Most recently, the Seawolves come off a 12-6 midweek loss to Marist.
On the season, Stony Brook is batting .226 led by Jack Parenty (.368), Johnny Caputo (.286), and Cole Paregine (.269). Defensively, the Seawolves have a .963 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff owns a 4.34 earned run average. Junior right-handed hurler Frankie Vanderka leads the squad with a 4-2 record and 1.42 ERA, while ranking second in the nation with four complete games on the mound.
THE SEAWOLVES’ COACH: Matt Senk (Cortland ‘80), 23rd season
In 2012, Matt Senk led Stony Brook to a program record and NCAA-leading 52 wins as well as a memorable run to the College World Series. The Seawolves squad captured the attention of the nation, beating perennial powers Miami (FL) and LSU on their way to Omaha. SBU was just the second No. 4 seed to ever advance to the College World Series and became the first Northeast school since 1986 to advance to the CWS. In his tenure, Senk has had 21 of his student-athletes taken in the MLB Draft, including the San Diego Padres’ first round pick, Travis Jankowski, last spring.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (8-13, 4-5 America East)
UAlbany comes off a 1-2 series at Maine. After falling, 4-1 and 7-4, the Great Danes rallied to capture a 7-6 victory in game three. Through three conference series, UAlbany is currently in a four-way tie for third place in the America East standings. In addition to Maine, the Danes went 1-2 at Hartford and 2-1 at UMBC. On the season, UAlbany is batting .259 collectively led by Matt Hinchy (.394), Jeff Welsh (.322), Evan Harasta (.304), and Nolan Gaige (.291). Defensively, the squad owns a .963 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff has a combined 5.36 ERA and league-best 8.01 strikeouts per game.
THE GREAT DANE 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 287 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.
LAST TIME OUT…
Trailing 6-3 in the seventh, UAlbany rallied for four unanswered runs en route to a 7-6 Easter Sunday victory over Maine at Mahaney Diamond. UAlbany out-slugged Maine, 12-4, in the series finale, as Nolan Gaige (2-for-4), D.J. Hoagboon (2-for-4), Gordon Madej (2-for-5), Matt Hinchy (2-for-4), and Greg Muller (2-for-4) all had multi-hit games. On the mound, UAlbany’s pitching staff held the Black Bears to four scattered hits. Coming out of the pen for the final three and a third frames, Derek Zielinski (2-3) earned the win, limiting Maine to one hit and one run, while striking out one. Starter Ryan Stinar threw the first five innings, allowing four runs (three earned), three hits, and recorded four strikeouts in the no-decision.
VS. STONY BROOK
In 2012, the Great Danes went 1-3 against the Seawolves, winning the final contest of the four-game series, 7-6, in 10 innings. D.J. Hoagboon knocked in the winning run with a base hit up the middle, sending Jeff Welsh home for the walk-off victory. UAlbany’s senior class owns a 4-12 record against the Seawolves, led by Nolan Gaige’s .293 career batting average in the 16 games. In the Jon Mueller era (since 2000), the Great Danes are 19-36 vs. the Seawolves.
RECORD BREAKING HITS
With 214 career hits, Nolan Gaige ranks first in UAlbany’s Division I program history and third all-time. He is well on pace to become the Great Danes’ all-time leader, currently six away from taking over second place, passing Steve Checksfield (219: 1998-2001), and 16 away from Michael Oliva’s record (229: 1997-01).
UAlbany’s active career doubles leader redshirt junior Josh Nethaway has belted 33 in his three-year tenure. With seven already this season, Nethaway is two doubles away from breaking into UAlbany’s top-5 all-time. Teammate Nolan Gaige is not far behind with 29 career two-baggers.
MADEJ LEADS THE WAY
Sophomore Gordon Madej led UAlbany with a .444 batting average last week, including three multi-hit games. Madej also drove in four runs, while scoring three, helping UAlbany to wins over Cornell and Maine. Against Cornell, Madej went 1-for-4 in the Danes’ 4-1 win over the reigning Ivy League champions and went 3-for-4, as well as had one RBI in the team’s tough-luck nightcap. Against conference foe Maine, Madej closed the series with back-to-back multi-hit performances, including going 2-for-5 with an RBI in UAlbany’s 7-6 victory.
CHASING DOWN A WIN
Redshirt senior Austin Chase (1-3) tossed all seven innings, earning the win, in UAlbany’s 4-1 victory over Cornell. Chase held the Big Red hitless until the fourth inning, and allowed just one run and three hits total, while striking out five. The win marked Chase’s first in his senior campaign.
HINCHY HEATS UP
Freshman Matt Hinchy recorded a .429 batting average in UAlbany’s conference series at Maine, while totaling a .308 average on the week. In the Great Danes’ 7-6 win over the Black Bears, Hinchy went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and also lined a double in game one versus Maine. Hinchy also helped UAlbany split a doubleheader with the reigning Ivy League champion, Cornell, starting at third base.
The Great Danes play a midweek game at Marist Tuesday (3:00 p.m.) before heading to Binghamton for a three-game conference series next weekend.