Baseball To Host Hofstra Wednesday For Final Non-Conference Clash
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team will closes an eight-game home stand Wednesday when the Great Danes host Hofstra at 3:00 p.m. on Varsity Field. It will mark UAlbany’s last non-conference game of the 2013 season, as the Danes will finish the regular season with two America East Conference series.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (21-19-1, 14-10 America East)
With two conference series remaining in the 2013 season, the Great Danes are currently in second place in the America East Conference standings with a 21-19-1 overall record and 14-10 conference mark. Recording two conference series sweeps already, UAlbany has earned America East weekly honors four times this season and was also named an Honorable Mention Team Of The Week By College Baseball Insider on April 9th. In addition, Head Coach Jon Mueller earned his 300th career coaching win this last weekend, as UAlbany went 1-2 against Maine. Batting .279 as a team, junior Josh Nethaway leads the squad with a .333 batting average, 14 doubles, and a .484 slugging percentage. Freshman Matt Hinchy (.320), junior Brian Bullard (.306), senior Greg Muller (.301) and senior Jeff Welsh (.300) are also all hitting above .300. Defensively, the Great Danes own a .967 fielding percentage and a collective 4.89 ERA.
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 300 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 PRIDE (23-24, 8-13 CAA)
Hofstra will look to snap a three-game losing streak after being swept by William and Mary over the weekend in a Colonial Athletic Association series. As a team, the Pride are batting .266 on the season led by Matt Reistetter (.353), Chris Nardo (.323), and Kenny Jackson (.301). Defensively Hofstra owns a .960 fielding percentage and a 5.37 ERA. Right-handed senior Gregg Sarra (1-0, 3.00 ERA) is scheduled to start on the mound for the Pride Wednesday.
THE HOFSTRA COACH: John Russo (2nd season, West Alabama ’00)
John Russo was named head coach of the Hofstra Baseball program on May 6, 2012, after serving as interim head coach since January 2012. Russo is in his fifth season on the Hofstra Baseball staff in 2013 and is the 14th head coach in program history. Russo is coming off a stellar 2012 season in which he led the team to a school record 34 wins and the No. 2 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship with a 20-10 conference mark.
CHASE NAMED AMERICA EAST PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Senior Austin Chase was named the America East Pitcher of the Week, announced by the league office Monday. The honor marks the second of Chase’s career. The East Greenbush, N.Y. native threw his second-consecutive complete game, leading UAlbany to its only win of the series against Maine. Chase held the Black Bears to just three runs and scattered three hits, while striking out three in nine full frames. With just a one-run cushion, Chase put the game away for the Great Danes with six straight outs in the final two innings, setting the Black Bears down in order. The right-hander has now earned victories in each of his last five outings on the mound. In conference play, Chase owns a 4-1 record with a 2.97 ERA.
Head coach Jon Mueller earned his 300th career coaching victory Saturday afternoon at Varsity Field, as the Great Danes split the conference twinbill with the University of Maine. While the Black Bears won game one, 8-6, UAlbany rallied to triumph, 4-3, in the nightcap. Mueller is in his 14th season at the helm and ranks first in UAlbany baseball coaching victories with a 300-402-5 record.
GAIGE’S RECORD-BREAKING HITS
With two hits against Manhattan on April 24th, senior Nolan Gaige became the University at Albany baseball program’s all-time hits leader, now totaling 237 in his four-year career. Gaige passed Michael Oliva (229: 1997-01) in the archives with his first hit of the night -- a leadoff double in the top of the first. In addition, Gaige is UAlbany’s all-time triples leader with 16 in his career, and ranks second for runs scored (156).
2013 AMERICA EAST TOURNAMENT
Announced by the league office March 6th, the America East Conference will take its 2013 baseball championship to LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass., home of Boston Red Sox Single A affiliate Lowell Spinners. The state of the art facility was tabbed to host the entire championship, marking the first time it has been held at a predetermined minor-league facility since 2001. The 2013 America East Championship will begin on Wednesday May 22, and conclude on either May 24 or May 25.
UAlbany travels to Stony Brook for a three-game America East series Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s doubleheader is slated for noon, followed by a single game Sunday, also at noon.