Baseball Travels To Marist Tuesday For Two
ALBANY, N.Y. – Riding a four-game win streak, the University at Albany baseball team looks to keep things rolling Tuesday when the Great Danes travel to take on Marist in a non-conference doubleheader at 2:00 p.m. Originally slated as a two-game home-and-home series, weather postponed UAlbany’s turn hosting on March 19th. Therefore, Tuesday’s clashes will be a pair of seven-inning games.
SCOUTING THE RED FOXES (15-11, 6-3 MAAC)
Marist comes off a 1-2 series versus Manhattan. The Red Foxes lost game one, 2-3, rallied to win game two, 16-1, but fell 2-0 in the series rubber match. On the season, Marist is batting. 280 as a team led by Zach Shank (.382), Mike Orefice (.362), Nick McQuail (.326), and Matt Pagano (.316). Defensively, the Red Foxes are fielding .962, while the pitching staff boasts a 3.66 collective earned run average.
THE MARIST COACH: Chris Tracz (4th season, Marist ’05)
In his fourth season at the helm, Chris Tracz has amassed a coaching record of 108-75, posting a 25-25 record in 2012. In 2011, Marist accrued a 35-17 record, as the Red Foxes achieved their second-highest win total in program history, and in 2010, the Red Foxes posted a 33-22 record in Tracz's first as head coach. Tracz pitched for Marist from 2001-05, and holds the school records for victories, innings pitched, strikeouts and starts, and is tied for the program record for complete games. Following his graduation, he served as pitching coach for the Red Foxes from 2006-08. In 2009, Tracz was pitching coach at Army, and helped guide the Black Knights to an NCAA Tournament appearance.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (11-13, 7-5 America East)
UAlbany comes off a 3-0 series sweep over 2012 College World Series participant Stony Brook. The Great Danes won game one in walk-off style in the bottom of the seventh. After battling back from a 4-0 deficit, Greg Muller led off the seventh with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and pinch runner Adam Mund scored on Evan Harasta’s game-ending single down the left field line. In the nightcap, UAlbany jumped out to a 6-0 head start and held on to win 9-6. In the series finale, the Danes edged the Seawolves, 4-3, scoring all four runs in the fourth inning. Through four conference series, UAlbany is currently tied with Hartford for second place in the America East standings. On the season, UAlbany is batting .260 collectively led by Matt Hinchy (.381), Gordon Madej (.300), Josh Nethaway (.299) and Jeff Welsh (.299). Defensively, the squad owns a .958 fielding percentage, while the pitching staff has a combined 5.04 ERA and league-best 8.14 strikeouts per game.
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 290 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.
NETHAWAY NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Leading UAlbany to a 3-0 series sweep over conference foe Stony Brook, junior Josh Nethaway has been named the America East Player of the Week, announced by the league office Monday. Nethaway led UAlbany with a team-best .455 batting average and .727 slugging percentage, logging a home run, three RBI, and four runs scored. The Fonda, N.Y. native crossed the plate and lined at least one hit in each game, including a pair of multi-hit performances. Facing a 4-0 deficit in game one, Nethaway capped the Danes’ sixth inning rally with a game-tying two-run home run with two outs. Nethaway recorded two hits in each of the final two games, including driving in the game-tying run in the series finale, as well as scoring what would become the game-winning run.
ARCHBOLD GARNERS FIRST WIN
Coming out of the bullpen for three and two-thirds innings, junior Kevin Archbold (1-0) recorded his first career win, holding Stony Brook to just two singles and two runs (none earned), while tying his career-high with six strikeouts. Archbold led the Great Danes to the program’s first series sweep over Stony Brook, as UAlbany won Sunday’s finale, 4-3. In two conference outings this season, Archbold has yet to give up an earned run.
With a team-best .478 batting average in conference play and .381 average on the season, freshman Matt Hinchy’s bat was just as hot against the Stony Brook Seawolves. Hinchy recorded a .333 average and .667 slugging percentage across the three games, including a double, triple, and two runs scored. With a hit in each victory, Hinchy extended his hitting streak to six straight games. In addition, fellow freshman Evan Harasta played a huge part in UAlbany’s series sweep, as he knocked home the game-winning run in walk-off style in game one’s bottom of the seventh. Harasta is batting .288 on the season with 17 RBI, three doubles and a home run.
With the series sweep over Stony Brook, UAlbany head coach Jon Mueller now has 290 career wins. Mueller is in his 14th season at the helm and ranks first in UAlbany baseball coaching victories (290-396-4).
Sophomore Cameron Sorgie recorded a career-high eight strikeouts in just three innings of work against Stony Brook in Saturday's no-decision. Sorgie could not have begun any better on the mound, as he struck the first four batters that he faced.
CHASING DOWN ANOTHER WIN
In each of his last two outings, reliever Austin Chase (2-3) has come away with a win in hand. In game one vs. Stony Brook, Chase came out of the pen to toss the final four frames and earn the victory. Holding Stony Brook without a hit until the sixth, Chase limited the Seawolves to just one run and two hits, while striking out two in his outing. In the outing prior, the senior 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.
RECORD BREAKING HITS
With 216 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 four away from taking over second place, passing Steve Checksfield (219: 1998-2001), and 14 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.
UAlbany travels to Binghamton for a three-game America East Conference series. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at noon, while Sunday’s single game is slated for 1:00 p.m.