A Pair of Great Danes Highlight Week 10's Baseball Honorees

Release: 04/30/2007
Courtesy: America East Communications

Albany's Steve Sayre (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) and Binghamton's Brendon Hitchcock have been named America East Co-Players of the Week. Sayre's teammate John Naples (Troy, N.Y./Catholic Central) earns America East Pitcher of the Week, while Stony Brook's Jeremy Nowak (Cheektowaga, N.Y./Cheektowaga) receives America East Rookie of the Week. The awards were announced Monday (April 30).

Sayre hit .571 in a four-game conference series with Maine over the weekend... The senior first baseman recorded eight hits, including three home runs, scored six runs and drove in another six to lead the Great Danes to a 3-1 record against the Black Bears. He posted a 1.286 slugging percentage, a .600 on-base percentage and did not commit an error. Sayre had his best performance of the weekend in the series finale on Sunday, which UAlbany won 15-5, when he went 4-for-4 with two homers, three runs scored and three RBI. Sayre becomes the second-straight Great Dane to win this accolade as Leo Corvino won the award last week.

Hitchcock, the AE’s leading hitter, batted .692 with an on-base percentage of .765 and a slugging percentage of 1.154 to lift the first-place Bearcats to a four-game sweep of Hartford.  He belted a three-run home run in the third game of the series and drove in nine runs in the four games. Hitchcock becomes the second Bearcat to win the award.

Naples tossed a complete-game shutout for the Great Danes in their series-opening 7-0 win over Maine on Friday. It was the first complete-game shutout tossed by a UAlbany hurler since May 19, 2006, when right-hander Mark Suchoweicki tossed nine innings in a 7-0 win over Binghamton. Naples scattered four hits and walked three batters over nine innings, striking out four and holding the Black Bears to a .138 average. It was the first complete game for a UAlbany pitcher this season, and improved Naples’ record to a team-best 6-2 overall. Naples becomes the second Albany hurler to win this award this season. Back on March 26, Casey Walsh was tabbed pitcher of the week.

Nowak batted a team best .476 for the Seawolves, who went 5-1 last week, including a four-game sweep of a home and home against non-conference foe Columbia. The freshman infielder scored five runs, had 10 hits including a double and a triple and knocked in five runs. He becomes the second Stony Brook freshman to win this award this season. His classmate Michael Stephan won the award twice on March 12 and April 9.


Albany Great Danes
UAlbany (18-20, 5-7 America East) went 3-1 in an America East Conference series with Maine over the weekend... The Great Danes’ non-conference tilt with St. John’s on Wednesday was cancelled due to inclement weather... UAlbany defeated the Black Bears 7-0 on Friday and split Saturday’s doubleheader, winning game one with a 5-4 comeback victory and falling in game two, 13-5... The Great Danes posted a 15-5 win in the series finale on Sunday... Senior right-hander John Naples (Troy, N.Y./Catholic Central) tossed a complete-game shutout on Friday, scattering four hits and walking three batters while striking out four in nine innings... It was the first complete game for a UAlbany pitcher this season, and the first nine-inning shutout win since May 19, 2006, when right-hander Mark Suchoweicki posted a 7-0 win over Binghamton... Senior first baseman Steve Sayre (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) hit .571 with eight hits, including three home runs, scored six runs and drove in another six... Sayre went 4-for-4 with two homers, three runs scored, three RBI and a stolen base in Sunday’s finale... Sophomore centerfielder Dave West (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North) hit .533 with eight hits and six runs scored... West led the team with three doubles and also recorded two home runs and four RBI...The Great Danes host Marist in a non-conference game on Tuesday before heading to Hartford for a conference series over the weekend.

Binghamton Bearcats
Binghamton (19-12, 13-2 America East) won four of five games during the week including a four-game sweep of Hartford... The Bearcats have now won eight of their last 10 games and 13 of 17... With two series' remaining, Binghamton sits in first place in the America East, with its best conference record in six years of membership... Senior first baseman Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa./Wyalusing Valley) was a force in the Hartford series, batting .692 (9-for-13) with four extra-base hits and nine RBI... Hitchcock leads the AE with a .421 average and has stepped that mark up against conference opponents (.468)... He blasted a three-run home run and had a 1.154 slugging percentage for the series... Junior pitcher Zach Groh (Reading, Pa./The Perkiomen School) struck out a school-record 14 batters in seven innings of work in game 1... Groh improved to 4-1 with his fourth consecutive victory... At one point, he struck out five straight Hartford batters and eight of 12... In conference play, Groh is 3-0 with a 2.89 ERA... Junior closer Khalid Afify (Binghamton, N.Y./Binghamton/Broome CC) notched his fourth win of the season in game 2... Afify hasn't been scored on in league play and is 3-0 with two saves... America East opponents are hitting .043 against him... Senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) hit .500 with six RBI against Hartford.  He doubled high off the wall in dead center field and came around to score the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of game 2... He leads the Bearcats with 27 RBI... Sophomore pitcher Jeff Dennis (North Syracuse, N.Y./Liverpool) allowed just one earned run in six innings against Hartford and improved to 3-0 on the season with a 2.38 ERA.

Hartford Hawks
Hartford (9-27, 6-9 America East) dropped all four-games of its series with the Binghamton Bearcats last weekend... The sweep by the Bearcats is the first against the Hawks this season in conference play... The Hawks mid-week game against Yale was cancelled for the Bulldogs to complete missed conference games... For the week, Adam Bowser (Abbington, MA/Worcester Academy) led the Hawks at the plate with a .308 batting average... He finished with four hits in 13 at bats, while knocking in two RBI... He also pelted his second home run of the season against the Bearcats... He was one of two players to finish with a four-hit week to lead the team... Brady Stouffer (Gaithersburg, MD/Northwest) also finished with fur hits, while scoring three runs... Chris Hebert (South Hadley, MA/Westfield State) finished the week with three RBI to lead the team.

Maine Black Bears
Maine (14-24, 5-7 America East) played six games last week... Joel Barrett (Brewer, Maine/Brewer) hit .450 on the week with a run scored and a team-high eight RBI... He had four doubles on the week and has a team-high
13 on the season... Barrett has 57 career doubles which ranks third on Maine's all-time doubles list... He is one shy of tying Joe Drapeau (200003) for second place on the all-time list... Barrett has 263 career hits and is tied with Gary LaPierre (198588) for third place on Maine's all-time hits list... Barrett is also tied for seventh on Maine's all-time RBI list with 157... Greg Norton (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) fanned his 200th career batter on Saturday at Albany... He also moved into a tie for fifth place on Maine's all-time wins list with his 24th career victory... Norton leads the Black Bears with three complete games, while sophomore Alejandro Balsinde (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) has a pair of complete games... Matt McGraw (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) hit his team-leading fifth triple on the season on Sunday... Maine was 11-of-12 in stolen bases on the weekend... McGraw led the way as he was a perfect 4-of-4.... He tied a Maine record with three stolen bases against Colby... McGraw is 12-of-12 in stolen bases on the season.... Maine plays a game against the University of Southern Maine this weekend before hosting Vermont in an America East Conference series this weekend. 

UMBC Retrievers
UMBC (10-29, 2-14 America East) picked up its second conference win of the year, with a 6-3 decision over Vermont in the first game of a four-game series on Friday... The Retrievers ultimately lost the series, 3-1, after dropping Saturday’s doubleheader (6-2 and 10-1) and Sunday’s single game, 4-3 to the Catamounts... Earlier in the week, the Retrievers fell to Mount St. Mary’s, 22-7, in a slugfest that saw seven different players homer, including two Retrievers... Juniors Will Delawter (Frederick, Md./Chesapeake JC) and Steve Russo (Lancaster, Pa./Conestoga Valley) each tallied two home runs for the week, with one each coming against Mount St. Mary’s and one coming during the Vermont series... Delawter also picked up his first win of the year, pitching a complete game victory against Vermont on Friday, letting up just two earned runs on nine hits while striking out five... He also led the Retrievers with seven RBI on the week and a 2.00 ERA... The Retrievers take a week off from conference play, hosting Delaware at 7 p.m. on Tuesday night before traveling to Lafayette for a two-game series from May 5-6.

Stony Brook Seawolves
Stony Brook (22-17, 8-3 America East) went 5-1 in games last week... Hofstra batted around in the 10th inning and scored seven runs as the Stony Brook baseball team fell to the Pride, 17-10, on Tuesday afternoon... Trailing 10-8 entering the bottom of the ninth inning, Rob Leonard (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) led off the frame with a double to right center field... Justin Echevarria (Uniondale, N.Y./Uniondale) followed with a double of his own to left to plate Leonard and pull the Seawolves within one... Kyle Traylor (Yonkers, N.Y./Mt. St. Michael) came into the game as a pinch runner and advanced to third on a flyout from Jeremy Nowak Cheektowaga, N.Y./Cheektowaga South) and later scored on a Rob Dyer (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) sac fly to deep left field to send the game into the tenth...  Chris Sipp (Wantagh, N.Y./MacArthur) finished the game 3-for-5 with a run scored, Brian Witkowski (Lindenhurst, N.Y./Lindenhurst) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Leonard was 2-for-6 with two runs scored and one driven in... Redshirt freshman Jordan Purington (Westbrook, Maine,/Westbrook) threw a complete game to earn his first collegiate victory and the Seawolves tallied 14 hits and 14 runs off of seven different pitchers as the Stony Brook baseball team topped Marist, 14-2... Witkowski led the red hot Stony Brook bats, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and four runs scored... Sipp was 3-for-4 with three driven in and a run scored and Nowak was 3-for-5 with two RBI and one run scored... The Stony Brook baseball team swept a doubleheader over Columbia on Saturday afternoon at University Field... The Seawolves won Game 1, 9-7, and rallied for a come-from-behind victory in Game 2, 6-5, in ten innings... In Game 1, the Seawolves batted around in the bottom of the first, plating six runs on six hits... Chris Sipp, Justin Echevarria, Jeremy Nowak and Kyle Traylor all drove in runs as the Seawolves jumped to an early 6-1 lead... Trailing 5-4 heading into the bottom of the ninth in Game 2, Witkowski hit a one-out double over the centerfielder's head as Stony Brook had a runner in scoring position... Following a pop up to the second baseman, Leonard ripped an RBI single to plate Witkowski and send the game into extra innings... In the bottom of the tenth, Nowak led off the frame with a triple to deep center... Following a ground out and a Rob Dyer walk, the Seawolves had runners on first and third with one out... Steven Mazzurco (Selden, N.Y./Newfield) hit a slow roller to second base and beat out the double play attempt as Nowak crossed home plate to give the Seawolves a 6-5 come-from-behind victory... The Stony Brook baseball team won a pair of games over Columbia in non-conference action on Sunday afternoon... The Seawolves won Game 1, 6-2, and Game 2, 5-3 as they improve to 22-17 overall...  Stony Brook led 6-1 through five innings as the Seawolves plated a pair of runs in the third, fourth and fifth inning in Game 1... The Seawolves opened up their scoring with two in the top of the third when they scored a pair of unearned runs... In the top of the fourth, Keith Fier (Armonk, N.Y./George Washinton) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Chris Maier (Farmingdale, N.Y./Farmingdale) scored on a wild pitch... In the fifth inning, Rob Leonard led off the frame with a double and later scored on Jeremy Nowak single. Nowak capped the Seawolves scoring when he scored on a Steven Mazzurco fielder's choice... This was all the run support that Jon Kalkau (5-0) (Bellmore, N.Y./Holy Trinity) needed as the Stony Brook hurler only allowed two runs in the complete game win... Kalkau struck out five and only allowed four hits on the afternoon... In Game 2, it was all knotted up at 2-2 through four innings as Leonard drove in Brian Witkowski in the first and Rob Dyer hit his second home run of the year with a solo shot over the left field fence in the third inning... The Seawolves took the lead for good in the top of the fifth inning when Witkowski singled in Fier with two-outs... Dyer and Kyle Traylor each knotted RBI singles in the sixth inning as Stony Brook led 5-2 through six...  The Lions added an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth, but Stony Brook starter Kurt Jung (6-2) (Candandaigua, N.Y./Canandaigua) completed his complete game victory with two shutout innings. Jung only allowed two earned runs with four strikeouts in nine innings on the hill... Stony Brook has games against Iona and a conference series at Binghamton this weekend.  

Vermont Catamounts
Vermont (18-18, 7-4 America East) had a 5-1 week including taking three of four from UMBC in conference action... Vermont has won eight of its last 10 to even its overall record at 18-18... UVM’s offense which scored just seven runs going 3-1 in four games the previous weekend, accounted for 43 runs in six games last week and the team hit .321... Seven Catamounts hit over .300 for the week... Senior Nick Gallipani (Brewster, N.Y./Brewster) hit a team-high.462 in the UMBC series with two doubles... The UVM pitching staff has a 2.12 ERA against America East foes while holding opponents to a .222 batting average... Justin Albert (Hull, Mass./Hull) and Kyle Henry (Brattleboro, Vt./Brattleboro/UConn) each tossed their third complete game in three conference starts in the Cats twinbill sweep of UMBC Saturday... Both pitchers scattered five hits earning victories... Albert lowered his ERA to 2.59 overall and 1.64 in league games... Henry had Vermont’s first multi-homer game of the season going deep twice Wednesday at Quinnipiac... Bryan Rembisz (Clinton, Conn./Westbrook) hit UVM’s first home run at Centennial Field Saturday... Eric Thompson (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Free Academy) earned victories in two starts last week topping Dartmouth Tuesday and UMBC Sunday... Thompson walked only three and struck out 10 in 14 innings... Vermont is at UMass Wednesday before heading to Maine for a four-game series next weekend... The Catamounts and Black Bears rivalry is the oldest in the America East.