Maine's Danny Menendez (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) has been named America East Player of the Week. His teammate Myckie Lugbauer (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) earns America East Rookie of the Week, while Binghamton's Zach Groh (Reading Pa./The Perkiomen School) receives America East Pitcher of the Week. The awards were announced Tuesday (April 17).
Menendez led the Maine to a sweep of UMBC on the weekend as he batted .727 with five runs scored and four RBI. The sophomore second baseman had three doubles to help pace a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .643 on-base percentage. Menendez was 2-for-2 in the series opener with two runs scored and three RBI. He was 3-for-4 in the nightcap with two runs scored. Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Menendez began a game-tying rally by leading off the inning with a double to right field. He then scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. He was 1-of-2 in Maine’s 3-1 win over UMBC in the opener on Saturday. He scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Menendez capped off the weekend going 2-of-3 in the series final with an RBI.
Groh, the reigning America East Pitcher of the Year, shut down Vermont on five hits in the series opener. , a 4-0 Bearcat win. The junior righty allowed only five singles and lowered his ERA to 1.93 in league play. Groh issued a pair of walks and struck out seven in eight innings of shutout work. He wins pitcher of the week for the second time this season, becoming the first repeat winner of the year.
Lugbauer batted .455 with a run scored and three RBI in Maine’s four-game sweep of UMBC. The freshman catcher/designated hitter was 4-of-5 in the first game with a run scored, three RBI and a double. He takes the lead in rookie of the week honors this season earning his third accolade. Stony Brook’s Michael Stephan and Binghamton’s Joe Charron have each won the award twice this season.
Albany Great Danes
UAlbany (13-17, 0-4 America East) went 3-2 last week with a doubleheader sweep of non-conference opponent Marist and a win and two losses against New York Tech... The Great Danes defeated the Red Foxes 10-6 and 12-6 on Tuesday before claiming a 10-7 win over the Bears on Friday... NYIT swept the non-conference doubleheader on Saturday with scores of 3-2 and 9-4... The final game of the series was postponed due to inclement weather... Junior first baseman Mike Konstanty (Oneonta, N.Y./Oneonta) started all four games for UAlbany, batting .462 with six hits, including a double and a home run, and scored seven runs... In the Great Danes’ win over Marist, Konstanty went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, knocking a solo home run in the contest... Senior infielder Steve Wyland (Stratford, N.J./Sterling) hit .429 for the week, recording six hits, including two doubles, and scoring five runs.... Sophomore Sean Donovan (Pleasant Valley, N.Y./Pleasant Valley) hit .375 with five RBI, while drawing five walks and striking out just once in eight at bats... Freshman Brendan Rowland (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) drove in a team-high six runs over the week... Junior closer Alexander Beaulieu (Levis, Quebec/Cardinal Regional) made three appearances on the mound for UAlbany, completing two saves in 2.2 innings of work... The Great Danes, who had a game against Le Moyne on Tuesday postponed due to weather, will visit Stony Brook for a four-game America East Conference series starting on Friday at 3 p.m.
Binghamton (12-10, 6-1 America East) took two of three games against Vermont to keep a share of first place... The 6-1 start is the best conference start in the program's six years in America East, surpassing the 5-2 mark in 2004... With the back-to-back series wins to open the 2007 season (Albany and Vermont), Binghamton has already won more AE series' than last season, when it won one series and split five... The 2005 team won four series' en route to a 12-8 mark and fourth-place finish - the best record and place for the Bearcats... Senior shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) hit a team-best .625 against Vermont... Senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) won the rubber game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning... He hit .400 in the series with a team-best four RBI... Simek ranks third in the AE in RBI with 19... Senior first baseman Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa./Wyalusing Valley) delivered the key blow in a 4-0 win over the Catamounts with a two-strike, three-run double to the gap in left center... Hitchcock ranked ninth in the nation in average and 18th in toughest to strike out last week... He leads the conference in average and slugging and is featured at Pingbaseball.com web site (http://www.pingbaseball.com/spotlight_player.php)... Senior pitcher Mike Van Gorder (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) had another strong outing with no decision against Vermont... He allowed three hits and one run in six innings and continues to lead the AE with a 1.67 ERA... America East Pitcher of the Week Zach Groh (Reading, Pa./The Perkiomen School) tossed eight shutout innings to beat Vermont... Groh, the reigning AE Pitcher of the Year, has a 1.93 ERA in conference play and is averaging 10.43 strikeouts per game... Junior closer Khalid Afify (Binghamton, N.Y./Binghamton/Broome CC) notched a win in two scoreless appearances during the week... Afify has a team-best three wins and three saves in 2007, and is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in league play.
Hartford (8-19, 5-2 America East) finished with a 2-2 record in four games with the final game of a four-game series with the Stony Brook Seawolves postponed due to weather... Hartford opened the week with a mid-week loss to Holy Cross, 12-3, before picking up the first game of the series with another outstanding performance from sophomore righty Weston Szymanski (Mt. Airy, Md./South Carroll)... The Hawks then dropped a pair of close games in the doubleheader with the Seawolves on Saturday, 1-0 and 3-1... The first game was won by Stony Brook’s starting pitcher Gary Novakowski, who allowed just two hits, none until the sixth inning... Szymanski pitched his second-straight nine-inning complete game in as many weeks, picking up his third-straight win in as many appearances... He finished the game allowing eight hits, with one of his runs allowed recorded as earned. Szymanski also finished with five strikeouts, tying the most in a game this season for the sophomore (first time was against Oklahoma State)... For the week, five players finished with multiple hits, led by Matt O’Connell (Braintree, MA/Boston College HS) who finished with three hits in eight at-bats, while scoring two runs.
Maine Black Bears
Maine (9-19, 4-4 America East) got back to its winning ways with a weekend sweep of UMBC... The games were played at Eastern Connecticut State University in Mansfield, Conn. due to poor field conditions in Orono, Maine... The Black Bears have played all 28 of their games on the road this season... America East Player of the Week Danny Menendez (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) led the Maine offense on the week... He batted .727 on the week with five runs scored and four RBI... He was 8-of-11 at the plate... He raised his batting average 66 points on the week... Alejandro Balsinde (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) started his second career game in the series final and was outstanding... He went nine innings and allowed just five hits and one run... He fanned four batters and did not walk anyone... He retired the the side in order five times... Joel Barrett (Brewer, Maine/Brewer) had a pair of doubles on the week... He moved into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time doubles list with 52... Brad Hertzler (Westport, Mass./Community College of Rhode Island) earned his first collegiate win on Friday... He pitched seven innings and fanned nine batters while allowing just four hits and one run... Greg Norton (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) also had an impressive pitching performance as he pitched a compete seven inning game and allowed just one run... Maine as a team raised its batting average 11 points on the week while dropping its ERA 0.79.
UMBC (8-17, 0-8 America East) remains winless in the conference after dropping a four-game series to Maine on Saturday and Sunday at Eastern Connecticut State University Baseball Stadium in Mansfield, Conn... The games were moved from Maine’s campus due to snow accumulation in the New England area... The Retrievers also cancelled their Tuesday night game versus Navy due to stadium light mechanical failure... The Retrievers kept the score close early on in each of the four contests, but couldn’t hold on for the win... In Game 1 on Friday the Retrievers tied the Black Bears, 1-1, in the third inning, but remained scoreless for the next six innings, taking a 12-1 loss... In Game 2, the Retrievers took a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but Maine scored two runs to send the game to extra innings and added one more in the bottom of the eighth to take a 7-6 win... The Retrievers came within one of the Black Bears in Game 1 on Saturday in the fourth inning, but couldn’t score again as they fell, 3-1... Game 2 saw the Retrievers take a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth, but the Black Bears answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning and five more in the bottom of the eighth to take the 8-1 win over the Retrievers... The Retrievers host Maryland on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. at The Baseball Factory Field before hosting Binghamton in a four-game series starting Friday at 4:00 p.m.
Stony Brook Seawolves
Stony Brook (14-14, 6-1 America East) went 2-2 on the week to move to .500 overall in 2007... After dropping a midweek game to Wagner, the Seawolves won 2-of-3 at Hartford to improve to 6-1 in America East play... Michael Stephan (Patchogue-Medford, NY) hit .333 on the week, including a game-winning solo shot to lift the Seawolves to a 1-0 win over Hartford on Saturday. Gary Novakowski (Prospect, Conn.) threw a complete game two hit shutout in the win... The Seawolves will take on Fordham in a midweek game and then host Albany for a four game set.
Vermont (10-16, 1-2 America East) went 2-3 last week including winning one of three at Binghamton to open America East play... Vermont’s pitching was solid last week with a 3.79 team ERA walking only 16 in five games but the team batting average was just .242 with only four extra-base hits... UVM stole six bases in seven tries and through 26 games the team has 36 steals in 42 attempts... Last season the Cats stole only 31 bases in 56 attempts... Bryan Rembisz (Clinton, Conn./Westbrook) had another exceptional two-way effort in topping Binghamton Saturday... He went the distance to earn the win on the mound allowing one earned run, one walk and had seven strikeouts while going 3-for-4 with a RBI at the plate... Rembisz has won three of his last four decisions and leads America East with 50 Ks and he was walked just five batters in 40.1 innings to start the season... He now has 208 career strikeouts... Kyle Massie (Rutland, Vt./Rutland) and Kyle Henry (Brattleboro, Vt./Brattleboro/Connecticut) each hit .375 last week... Massie had a pair of multi-hit games last week and now has a team-high 12 this season... After three straight strong relief outings, sophomore Justin Albert (Hull, Mass.) earned a start in the conference opener at Binghamton and went a solid six innings allowing only one earned run. Albert in this stretch has lowered his ERA to 3.52... Vermont hosts Hartford this weekend in a four-game series, Friday through Saturday at Centennial Field.