Mueller Named Coach of the Year; All-Conference Selections Announced
VESTAL, N.Y. – For the second time in his career, University at Albany baseball head coach Jon Mueller has been named America East Coach of the Year. Mueller, selected unanimously, first won the award following the 2004 season.
Mueller, currently in his 20th season as the Great Danes’ head coach, has guided UAlbany to a 28-21 overall record, and 14-9 in-conference. The team won their last nine games of the regular season to clinch the second-seed in the America East Tournament for the first time since 2011.
The 28 victories are the most for UAlbany in a single season since 2007, the last year the Great Danes won the America East title. Earlier this year, Mueller earned his 400th victory as a head coach.
Mueller headlined a class of nine Great Dane players earning 10 All-Conference accolades. UAlbany pulled in three All-Conference First Team selections, Dominic Savino, Joe Kruszka, and Nick Kondo, three Second Team selections, Ray Weber, Marc Wangenstein, and Brad Malm, one All-Rookie, Dolan Ocasal, and three All-Academics, Kondo, Josh Gurnack, and Dan Yankowski.
"We are all proud of the student-athletes who were recognized for their individual academic and athletic accomplishments,” said Mueller. “Having our peers recognize our coaching staff for our regular season is humbling. This is a team award, which can only happen with contributions from our administration, assistant coaches, support staff and our student-athletes.”
Savino, a senior right-handed pitcher from Smithtown, N.Y., earned All-Conference First Team honors for the third straight season, and his second straight as a starting pitcher after earning the recognition as a relief pitcher in his sophomore year. In 2019, Savino went 4-4, winning each of his last four starts, with a 2.69 ERA in 73.2 innings pitched with 55 strikeouts. He leads the America East with a .224 opposing batting average, and ranks second in ERA.
Kruszka, a junior right-handed pitcher from Gowanda, N.Y., earns his first All-Conference First Team honor. In his first season as a Great Dane, Kruszka went 2-2 with a 2.11 ERA with 49 strikeouts and a league-leading 10 saves.
Kondo, a junior infielder from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., earns his first America East All-Conference first team honor. He led UAlbany in hitting with a .330 average, racking up 11 doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 22 RBIs while slugging .447 with a .429 on base percentage. Academically, Kondo 3.70 GPA studying Business with a minor in Financial Market Regulation to earn his first All-Academic selection.
Weber, a redshirt-sophomore from West Islip, N.Y., was named to the All-Conference Second Team for the first time. He led UAlbany in wins this season, going 7-2 with a 3.64 ERA over 42.0 innings with 33 strikeouts.
Wangenstein, a junior outfielder from Ronkonkoma, N.Y., earns his All-Conference Second Team honor. Previously, Wangenstein was named to the All-Rookie team in 2016. Wangenstein leads the America East with 50 RBIs, seven more than second place. He finished the regular season batting .302 with eight doubles, four triples, and eight home runs, while slugging .522.
Malm, a sophomore infielder from Medford, N.Y., earns his first All-Conference Second Team accolade. He ranked second on the team in batting, finishing with a .318 average, while hitting eight doubles, one triple, two home runs, and 23 RBIs.
Ocasal, a freshman infielder from Pearl River, N.Y., the Great Danes’ lone All-Rookie selection, took over the starting spot at second base after Kondo was moved to shortstop this year. Ocasal hit .239 with six doubles and 14 RBIs this season.
Gurnack, a sophomore catcher from Scotland, Conn., earns his first All-Academic honor. He has accumulated a 3.75 GPA studying human biology.
Yankowski, a junior right-handed pitcher from Valatie, N.Y., earned his first All-Academic selection. He will graduate this semester with a degree in Business, having accumulated a 3.95 ERA.
Stony Brook’s Nick Grande was named Player of the Year, while Binghamton’s Ben Anderson and Thomas Babalis were named Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, respectively.
UAlbany kicks off the America East Tournament on Thursday, May 23, when they will face the winner of three-seed Binghamton and six-seed Hartford. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.