Bard College Raptors

04/16/2014, 4:15pm EDT
By Bard College Raptors; Photos By Bard Athletic Communications

“On a team made up mostly of club players in 2013, Danz became a quiet leader with his grind-it-out mentality and all-out approach in the outfield and on the base paths. As a sophomore, he batted .296 and led the team in several categories, including slugging percentage (.451), on-base percentage (.453), triples (3), walks (14) and steals (10). As a junior he is considered a veteran on a roster with 14 freshmen.”
– Ed Kahovec, Head Coach

bard-slideshow_largeVarsity baseball at Bard returned after a 76-year hiatus with a doubleheader sweep to start the 2013 season. Playing an independent schedule, the Raptors won five of their last 10 to finish the campaign at 8-18.
In 2014, second-year coach Ed Kahovec has one full year of recruiting under his belt and the youthful squad joins the prestigious and tough Liberty League. A small group of players return from the historic 2013 season, and the rest of Bard’s roster is made

up of freshmen eager to establish respect among its peers in the conference.Among the top returning players are junior centerfielder Tom Danz, who hit .296 last year and led the team in stolen bases, and sophomore catcher/pitcher Alec Montecalvo, who started all 26 games in 2013 and produced a team-best seven doubles.

Key to Kahovec’s recruiting efforts has been the construction of Honey Field, a turf facility currently being built on Bard’s campus, and the product of a gift from an anonymous donor. The field will not be complete for games in the 2014 season, so Bard will play its home games at Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, NY, the home of the Hudson Valley Renegades, a Class A Short Season affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Among the large group of freshmen on the roster, Kahovec is looking for big things from outfielder Jack Hawke, lefty starter Zach Ward and middle infielder Mark Leonhard.

Player Spotlight

On a team made up mostly of club players in 2013, Tom Danz became a quiet leader with his grind-it-out mentality and all-out approach in the outfield and on the base paths. As a sophomore, he batted .296 and led the team in several categories, including slugging percentage (.451), on-base percentage (.453), triples (3), walks (14) and steals (10). As a junior he is considered a veteran on a roster with 14 freshmen.

U.S. Coast Guard Academy Bears

04/16/2014, 3:30pm EDT
By U.S. Coast Guard Stats Information Department; Photos By U.S. Coast Guard Academy Athletics

We had an outstanding season last year winning a school-record 24 games and getting to the ECAC Championship Game led by an outstanding senior class. This year, we need some of the younger guys to step up and fill the roles left by those players for us to be successful.”- C.C. Grant, Head Coach

coast-guard-slideshow_1__largeThe Coast Guard baseball team coming off its most successful season in school history. They will have to replace 14 seniors off a team that made the program’s first ECAC championship game appearance and finished with a school-record 24 wins.

The Bears senior class finished with 71 wins in their careers tying the mark set from 2000-2003. Six players finished their careers with over 100 hits.

Senior co-captain Dave Wolinski, who hit .345 last season, will start at first base while junior Matt Hanks (.272) will start at second. Sophomore Mark Behne is expected start at shortstop while classmate Kyle Wood (.250) will see time at third as well as significant mound time as the Bears top returning pitcher.

Wood made 11 appearances and five starts last season and had a record of 2-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 36.3 innings. The Bears lost their top four pitchers to graduation. Junior Andrew Lucak (0-0, 3.45) pitched 15.6 innings last season and is the only other pitcher who pitched more than three innings returning this season.

Senior co-captain Lukas Laplante, who played in the outfield last season, makes the move to catcher this season and will see time along with junior Dan Sabourin behind the plate. Junior Blake Thompson is expected to start in the outfield with the two other spots up for grabs.

The Bears who compete in the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) will open the season on March 1st vs. rival Merchant Marine Academy in a doubleheader at Baseball Heaven in Yaphank, NY.

Player Spotlight

Kyle Wood is expected to take over the top spot in the Bears rotation and also be a key hitter in the middle of the order this season seeing action at third place as well as on the mound.

Cazenovia College Wildcats

04/16/2014, 3:00pm EDT
By Cazenovia Stats Information Department; Cazenovia College
“Our goal is to find players that will thrive in our program and embrace the opportunities offered at Cazenovia College.  We emphasize leadership and focus on building tradition as we strive to become one of the premier small-college baseball programs in the region. The baseball program is based around approaching the game with love, attitude, belief, hard work, accountability and discipline.” – Pete Way, Head Coach

cazenovia-slideshow_1__largeThe Wildcats look to return to their winning ways, especially in conference this season. Cazenovia’s batting order should rank as one of the top groups in the conference, featuring a balanced attack 1-9. Jack Young (Fr., McQuaid Jesuit) and Brent Baker (Jr. Transfer, Herkimer County CC) will pace Cazenovia at the top of the order. Cazenovia has run producers with infielder Matt Nestopoulos (Jr., Ithaca), first baseman Zach Levanduski (Sr., Thomas A. Edison), outfielder Dan Hodne (Jr., Oneonta), third baseman Mike Makara (So., Allentown Central Catholic) and outfielder Dan Crozier (Fr., Ballston Spa). Catcher Nate Dietz (Fr., John C. Birdlebough) and center fielder, Chris Williams (Jr., Holland Patent) provide speed at the bottom of the order.

Other players including outfielder Billy Bigsby (Fr., Cazenovia), infielder Alex Rudiak (Jr., Rome Catholic) and catcher Matt Sheridan (So., St. Peter’s) will vie for playing time. Cazenovia’s defense is greatly improved with a formidable infield centered on Baker and Young. Dietz and Williams are defensive stalwarts that provide Caz with a strong middle of the field. Cazenovia returns the North Eastern Athletic Conference’s best arm and league leader in strikeouts in Senior Zach Levanduski. Left-hander Tom DeBernardis (Jr., Proctor) and a pair of former McQuaid Jesuit HS standouts Casey MacClaren (So.) and Jack Young will round out the rotation. Williams will serve as the team’s best arm out of the bullpen. Power arms Makara, Chris Vaverchak (Fr., John C. Birdlebough) will couple with relievers Kevin Fitzgerald (So,. Bishop Timon), Austin Matteo (So., Bishop Maginn) and Tony Basciano (Fr., Lenape Valley).

Player Spotlight

Zach Levanduski for the player spotlight. For him let’s say “Struck out a conference leading 58 batters in 37 Innings Pitched in 2013.

Molloy College Lions

04/15/2014, 8:00pm EDT
By Molloy Stats Information Department; Photos By Cody Snapp

“We are returning solid pitching and the core of our rotation. Once again our rotation will be led by Max Schonfeld and Alex Miden, and anchored by the 2013 East Coast Conference Co-Rookie of the Year Shea Spitzbarth. Having solid pitching going into this year has us excited, in addition to the wealth of young talent at other positions. We’re returning Carlos Guzman and John Galanoudis, who are two of the top position players in the conference. We’re hoping to better our outcome after reaching the ECC Tournament semifinals last year.” – Joe Fucarino, Head Coach

mercy-slideshow_largeLast season, the Molloy College baseball team witnessed success as both a team and individually. The Lions went 24-27 overall and 14-10 in the East Coast Conference, with their campaign concluding in the ECC Postseason Tournament semifinals. The 2014 team will be led by three captains: senior pitcher Alex Miden, senior outfielder Carlos Guzman and junior infielder John Galanoudis. Head Coach Joe Fucarino returns starting pitcher Shea Spitzbarth, who was named the ECC Co-Rookie of the Year last season, after posting a 3-3 record, a 3.36 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 59 innings. The rest of the rotation will be led by Miden (5-5, 2.49 ERA) and senior Max Schonfeld (5-4, 2.14 ERA).

Carlos Guzman posted a .319 batting average last year and recorded 59 hits, 35 runs scored, 11 doubles, three triples and 18 stolen bases. He was named to the NCBWA All-East Region Second Team, All-ECC First Team and NYCBL All-Star Game. John Galanoudis, who was named to the All-ECC Second Team last year, batted .304 with 40 runs batted in and a .395 on-base percentage.
Molloy graduates three All-ECC Second Team selections in catcher Ray McCourt, outfielder Greg Walsh and pitcher Matthew Metz. In addition, Coach Fucarino sees an ABCA  Rawlings Gold Glove winner depart the Lions as shortstop Kris Kelly graduated. Moreover, Kelly was picked to the ABCA All-East Region First Team, while graduated outfielder Robert Inzerillo took home second team accolades.

Player Spotlight

John Galanoudis, INF/OF, Junior. One of team captains this year, was All-ECC 2nd team as sophomore last season; National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for NCAA Division II; a leader on campus; recently released his own original music album on iTunes.

Mercy College Mavericks

04/15/2014, 7:45pm EDT
By Mercy Stats Information Department; Photos By Mark Becker

“We have brought in a lot of talent over three very strong recruiting classes. We have great depth, have gotten some players back from injury and are fortunate to have several potential All-Conference candidates, both hitting and pitching. This team should be able to return to the ECC Championship.” – Bob Greiner, Head Coach

mercy-slideshow_largeAn infusion of young talent coupled with the most well-rounded group of upperclassmen in years has the Mercy College baseball team ready to return to the postseason.  Healthier than they have been in years, the Mavericks are ready to capitalize on several years of increasingly deep and talented recruiting classes and, with every senior on the roster expected to make an impact, this should easily be one of the deepest teams in the East Coast Conference.

The Mavericks will boast star power too, as five of the top six hitters return, including the entire starting infield, led by senior Jeremy Lovera (Carmel, NY/Carmel) and junior Chris Salvo (Yorktown Heights, NY/Lakeland).  Division I sophomore transfer Scott Hagan will join the fearsome lineup and is expected to challenge for all-conference honors in centerfield.
One the mound, sophomore Christian Hock (Trumbull, CT/Franklin Pierce Univ.) will take over the role of ace in the rotation after posting a 3.74 ERA as a rookie, striking out 14 and walking just five in 33.2 innings pitched. He will be joined by former Rookie of the Year candidate Bryan Greig (New City, NY Clarkstown South), who missed all but five games last year. Now healthy, he will look to return to the form that saw him post a sparkling 2.96 ERA and .243 batting average against with 38 strikeouts in 48.2 innings pitched. Greig also posted a team-high .318 slugging percentage as the primary designated hitter in 2012.
Christian Hock posted one of the best rookie seasons in Mercy history and is poised to become the ace of the rotation as just a sophomore. His 3.74 ERA ranked 18th in Mercy single-season history. He has improved tremendously over his first offseason and could contend for the ECC Pitcher of the Year award. 

Marist College Red Foxes

04/15/2014, 7:15pm EDT
By Marist Stats Information Department; Photos By Marist College

“This year, we are going to have to win with nine guys. Last year, we knew what we had earlier on; this year, we are going to use the early part of the year to learn about who we are and how we are going to play.” – Chris Tracz, Head Coach

Nick McQuail

Nick McQuail

The four Red Foxes who figure to see the most starts in 2014 are senior Jordan Eich, juniors Evan Davis and Rich Vrana, and freshman Scott Boches. Vrana, went 5-1 with a staff best 2.87 ERA last year. Eich appeared in 18 games in 2013, and held opponents to a .197 batting average. Right-hander Davis also made two starts last year, going 1-3 with 10 strikeouts and a save.

Junior Chris Napolitano, freshman Stephen Priolo, freshman Ryan Thomas, and senior Chris Thorsen are projected to provide most of the relief in the later innings.
Zach Passerelle should see most of the catching duties, but juniors Mark Brennan and Mark Swertfager will also see time. Passerelle started 48 games and had 31 RBIs last season. Brennan made 21 starts, and Swertfager had a .379 on-base percentage in 13 games.

Junior Steve Laurino starts at first base after batting .362 with 30 RBIs last season. Sophomore Matt Belitz and freshman Ben Moller will compete for the second base position. Junior Joey Aiola switches from second to shortstop after hitting .320 as a freshman, and senior Nick McQuail will play third base. McQuail started all 52 games last year, hitting .319 with an on-base percentage of .434.

Sophomore Matt Pagano, who was named to Second Team All-MAAC last season after batting .337 and leading the MAAC with five triples, will start in left field. Sophomore Graham McIntire and senior Jake Berry are projected to start in center field and right field, respectively. Senior Pat Welsh and freshman Jamari Moore are also expected to see time.

Player Spotlight

Jordan Eich was a 2013 MAAC All-Academic Team. He appeared in 18 games, including two starts and went 1-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 34.1 innings, just allowed just 21 hits and a .197 opponents’ batting average.

Oswego State University Lakers

04/15/2014, 7:00pm EDT
By Oswego Stats Information Department; Photos By Oswego State University

“I was really proud of how well the guys played last year en route to the most wins in school history,” said head coach Scott Landers. “This year we will look to build on that momentum and hopefully take the next step by capturing the SUNYAC championship to earn an appearance in the NCAA Championship.”
– Scott Landers, Head Coach
oswego-slideshow_largeIn 2014, the Oswego State baseball team will look to continue its success of a year ago. Last season, the Lakers were able to set a new program-record for wins with 27, advancing to the SUNYAC Championship and finishing second. 

Scott Buniak and Mike McMullen are the top returners for Oswego, as both were recognized as All-Region and All-Conference performers last year. Buniak was named to the SUNYAC First Team before being honored as an ABCA/Rawlings All-New York Region Third Team member. He also led the Lakers in total runs, triples, walks and stolen bases and was second in hits. McMullen was Second Team in the SUNYAC and garnered Third Team All-New York from the end of the season, McMullen led the team with 50 hits while Buniak followed in second place with 46. McMullen was fifth in SUNYAC in both hits and RBI as he drove in a team-best 26 runs in 2013.

Also returning for the Lakers is Ryan Donovan. During his junior campaign, Donovan led the teams with four saves and ended the season with an ERA of 2.25, tying for the team-best mark. He also ended with a 3-1 record as the Utica, New York native appeared in ten games for the Lakers, all in relief.

Oswego will also look to some newcomers for immediate impact. With ten incoming freshmen and a few transfers, the Lakers look to bring some new energy on to the field. Brendyn Karinchak, a transfer, will solidify the starting rotation while fellow rookies Ryan Brinkman and Tim Cronin will also fight for starting spots on the mound.

Player Spotlight

Scott Buniak appeared in 40 of a possible 42 games for Oswego last season, starting in 38. During the year, he led the team in runs (31), triples (3) and stolen bases (18) while being second in hits (46). Buniak excels off the field as well, earning All-Academic (3.30 GPA during the most recent semester) and Commissioner’s List (cumulative 3.30 GPA over the past three semesters combined) honors from the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). 

Utica College Pioneers

04/15/2014, 6:15pm EDT
By Utica Stats Information Department; Photos By Utica College
“We will need to spend some time with a philosophy that we have to get across to the student-athletes,” said Milazzo of his first steps with the team after joining the Utica College coaching staff. “We have to discuss all of the things that we want the student-athletes to accomplish, how we want them to practice and the way we want to play the game, and if we can get them to believe in what we’re doing then the winning will be a byproduct.” – Joe Milazo, Head Coach

utica-slideshow_largeThe Utica College baseball team, guided by new Head Coach Joe Milazzo, is geared up for the 2014 season and will open up play on Spring Break in Florida. The Pioneers currently have a 39 game schedule set for the Spring beginning on Sunday March 16th at the Russ Matt Tournament in Winter Haven, Florida.  Utica College is set to play nine games in six days over break.

New Head Coach Joe Milazzo along with assistant coaches Christopher Podlucky (’13) and Dan Bollana are ready to lead the Pioneers in 2014 in hopes of getting back to the Utica tradition of winning on the diamond. Last season, Utica compiled an overall record of 6-28 marking the 14th straight season under .500. UC’s last winning season came back in 1999 under Head Coach Don Guido who lead the squad to an 18-14 overall mark.
Currently Utica has 31 student-athletes on the roster of which 19 are returners from last year. Of the 19 returners from last year’s squad, seven are position starters in the field and nine are everyday hurlers. UC welcomes 12 newcomers to the team including four local prospects from the surrounding area. A total of 11 Pioneers on the team are from the local surrounding areas which include Clinton, Deerfield, Frankfort, Ilion, Marcy, Mohawk, Rome, Sauquoit, Whitesboro and Verona.
Utica opens up the season at the Russ Matt Tournament in Winter Haven, FL on Sunday, March 16th and will square off against the University of Maine-Farmington (Farmington, ME).

Player Spotlight

Alec Choleva is a senior everyday pitcher and outfielder currently pursuing an Accounting Degree. Originally from Coventry, CT where he attended East Catholic High School, Alec has played in 106 career games, starting in 104 over his first three years. He is a .280 career hitter with 90 hits, 15 doubles, eight triples and two home runs. On the mound, he has logged 132 innings while allowing 172 hits and fanning 86 in 25 appearances.

College of Mount Saint Vincent Dolphins

04/15/2014, 6:00pm EDT
By Mount Saint Vincent Stats Information Department; Photos By College of Mount Saint Vincent Athletics

“We’re very excited about this upcoming season. I think we’ve done a good job at addressing some areas where we needed to improve and it should lead to us being a more competitive club this spring. We had a lot of struggles last year, but this group definitely has the potential to surprise some folks.” Paul LaMarr, Head Coach

mt-st-vincent-slideshow_largePaul LaMarr will be at the helm of the College of Mount Saint Vincent Baseball program for the third season in 2014. LaMarr and the Dolphins are coming off a 2013 campaign that saw them post an 8-28 overall record and a 6-10 mark in Skyline Conference Play.

Mount Saint Vincent returns 18 players from last season’s team, including seniors Mike Esposito, Tim Hoxha, Tyler Rieth, Jason Rivera, Brian Rush, Josh Sharpe and Chris Sideli. Sharpe enters his senior season ranked among the career leaders in nearly every statistical category; including games played (109), batting average (.308), at bats (360) and runs (104). He is the career leader in walks through three seasons with 83 and sits 45 hits shy of the career mark entering his senior campaign. 

The Dolphins will open the season with eight straight road games, including a trip to preseason number three ranked Kean College on February 21. The season opening road swing also includes trips to Bridgewater (VA), Eastern Mennonite and Washington College (MD). The home schedule opens against Lehman on March 15 and includes league dates with Mount Saint Mary (3/22), Farmingdale State (3/29), Maritime (4/6) and NYU-Poly (4/26).

Mount Saint Vincent will look to make its sixth appearance in the Skyline Conference Tournament in the past seven seasons in 2014 and will look for its first postseason berth since appearing in the ECAC Tournament during the 2009 season.

Player Spotlight

Josh Sharpe stands in the top-10 all-time at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in nearly every offensive category. Through his junior season he is the career leader in walks with 83 and has amassed 111 hits, just 44 away from tying the career mark for the Dolphins. Following his sophomore year, Sharpe was made a Second Team All-Skyline Conference selection and was a Second Team All-New York Region Honoree. 

Josh was also an ABCA/Rawlings Third Team All-New York Region selection and a winner of the ABCA/Rawlings New York Region Gold Glove Award. Following the competition of the 2013 season, Sharpe played with the Staunton Braves of the Valley Baseball League (VA) where he was the winner of the team’s John Lancaster Memorial Award for the player who gives his best both on and off the field.

SUNY Cortland Red Dragons

04/15/2014, 5:30pm EDT
By SUNY Cortland Stats Information Department; Photos By Darl Zehr Photography

“We’re very excited about this season. We have great chemistry on this team, and our lineup is solid from top to bottom. We’re very fortunate to have a combination of experienced players who’ve been the cornerstones of our recent successful seasons along with a very talented group of newcomers.” – Joe Brown, Head Coach

cortland-slideshow_largeThe SUNY Cortland baseball team looks to continue its long run of successful seasons in 2014. The Red Dragons finished 38-11 last spring and tied for ninth nationally in Div. III after placing second at the NCAA regionals in Auburn, N.Y.

Cortland has qualified for the NCAA playoffs each of the last 21 years – the longest active streak in Div. III and the fourth-longest in all NCAA divisions behind Miami, Florida State and Cal State Fullerton. The Red Dragons have played in the NCAA Div. III World Series 11 times, all since 1995.

Cortland’s offense this season will be led by senior first baseman Max Rosing, who batted .379 with two homers and a team-high 45 RBI last spring. Junior outfielder Donny Castaldo hit .374 with 20 RBI and nine steals and senior DH/catcher P.J. Rinaldi hit .344 with three homers, 42 RBI and 12 steals.
Senior outfielder Chris Jackson paced the Red Dragons last spring with six homers. Two other returning starters – senior catcher Tim Panetta and senior third baseman Anthony Iacomini – also hit better than .300 last year.
Anchoring the pitching staff will be sophomore Brandon Serio (5-1, 1.21 ERA) and junior Brandon McClain (5-1, 2.67 ERA). The bullpen features senior Cody Petre (2.19 ERA, 5 saves) and senior Steven Kimmelman (3.00 ERA, 3 saves).
Cortland’s schedule features early spring trips to Virginia and Maryland as well as a 7-game spring break week in Florida. The Red Dragons’ northern schedule includes 18 games in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC). Cortland has won 31 league titles, including each of the last three years.

Player Spotlight

Sophomore Pitcher, Tyler Brien enrolled in the Army National Guard and went through basic training last summer.