Stony Brook's Tropeano leads the conference in strikeouts and earned run average.
Stony Brook's Tropeano leads the conference in strikeouts and earned run average.
Courtesy: America East Communications

First-Place Stony Brook Sweeps Baseball Weekly Awards

Release: 04/18/2011

Cambridge, Mass.-- A trio of Seawolves, which has led Stony Brook to first place in the America East baseball standings, has earned conference weekly awards for the period ending April 17. Player of the Week sophomore Tanner Nivins (Kitchener, Ontario/St. Mary's), Pitcher of the Week junior Nick Tropeano (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) and Rookie of the Week Kevin Courtney (Lindenhurst, N.Y./St. John the Baptist) have all been honored after the team went 3-1 last week and continued its best start since 2000.

Nivins hit .538 last week, including .667 in a three-game series with conference rival UMBC. The sophomore outfielder belted two home runs, scored seven runs and drove in four scores last week, compiling a slugging percentage of 1.077 and an on-base mark of .571. In game three on Sunday against the Retrievers, the most closely-contested game of the series, Nivins hit a two-run home run to break a 3-3 tie. The Seawolves went on to win, 8-4. He also hit a four-bagger and scored twice in the first game of the weekend on Saturday. Nivins is batting .292 on the season with eight doubles and 21 RBIs.

Tropeano pitched game one in the weekend series against UMBC, going the full 7.0 innings and dominating with 11 strikeouts. Tropeano allowed five hits, all singles, and shut out the Retrievers in the 12-0 rout. Tropeano did not walk a batter and improved his season ERA to 1.01 with a 7-1 record. He leads America East with 68 strikeouts over 53.2 innings pitched.

Courtney earns his second Rookie of the Week accolade in three weeks. He batted .583 in 12 at-bats last week, including a 7-for-8 (.875) weekend series against the Retrievers. For the weekend, the rookie first baseman had an on-base percentage of .900 and a slugging percentage of 1.375. He scored four runs and drove in five, walked twice and recorded three extra-base hits. Courtney has a season batting average of .326.

Team Notebooks:

Albany (12-18, 5-2 AE) dropped a mid-week non-conference game to Marist before splitting a four-game series with Binghamton at home over the weekend... Junior outfielder Pete DiResta (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) led the team with a .474 average over the five games... DiResta recorded nine hits, including three doubles, a triple and a home run... DiResta is tied for the national lead with seven triples on the season... Senior Dave Kubiak (Southold, N.Y./Southold) tossed a complete-game win in the first game against Binghamton on Saturday... Kubiak scattered five hits and allowed two earned runs while striking out six in his seven-inning performance... Redshirt freshman Josh Nethaway (Fonda, N.Y./Fonda-Fultonville) hit .333 for the week, seeing action at catcher and designated hitter... Nethaway finished with six hits, including two doubles, and six RBI... The Great Danes will return to action on Tuesday, visiting Le Moyne in non-conference play before visiting Maine for a three-game America East series over the weekend.

Binghamton (13-17, 5-2 AE) went 3-2 on the week, beating Niagara on Tuesday before splitting a four-game set at Albany over the weekend. The Bearcats have now won nine of their last 11 games and sit in a tie with Albany for second place in the America East standings, one game behind Stony Brook... After beginning the season with 25 straight games on the road, Binghamton made its season debut at Varsity Field and beat Niagara, 5-2. Sophomore Joe Swindells (Mansfield, Pa./Mansfield) tossed four innings of one-hit ball and the Bearcats scored five runs in the first five innings to take control... At Albany, Binghamton let a pair of late-inning leads slip away in Saturday’s losses before scoring a combined 12 runs in the team’s two final frames Sunday to sweep the day and gain a series split... Senior designated hitter Jeff Skelhorne-Gross (Mississauga, Ontario/Lorne Park Secondary) hit .556 with six RBI in three games this week, including a five-hit, six RBI day Sunday at Albany. Skelhorne-Gross is hitting .500 (9-for-18) with a team-high 11 RBI in conference play... The second win on Sunday gave 19th-year head coach Tim Sinicki his 400th career victory. Sinicki, the longest tenured coach at Binghamton and a four-time America East Coach of the Year, has coached the program since its Division III era. His Bearcats have won four consecutive America East regular season titles - the second-longest baseball string in conference history... Junior first baseman Dave Ciocchi (Hopewell Junction, N.Y./John Jay) hit .429 with four RBI in the five games. Ciocchi, an early season Player of the Year candidate, leads the America East in batting average (.383), home runs (4) and on-base percentage (.492).

Hartford (3-25-1, 1-5 AE) won its first conference game of the season on Sunday afternoon as sophomore Anthony Mannuccia (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) pitched a nine-inning complete game to help the Hawks to a 4-1 victory over Maine... Junior Simon Kudernatsch (Prague, Czech Republic/Prague West) had two triples, scoring two runs, and sophomore Chris Suchy (West Springfield, Mass/Westminster) drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-out double in the fourth... Mannuccia made that lead stand up as he struck out four, scattering just eight hits over his nine innings of work... Freshman Ryan Lukach (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) and junior Victor Santana (Plainville, Conn./Plainville) also had RBIs for Hartford... The victory salvaged the third game of a three-game set with Maine, which took the first two games by 3-1 and 5-1 counts... Mannuccia’s was not the only complete game of the weekend for Hartford, as junior Mike Thatcher (Willington, Conn./EO Smith) went the distance in the seven-inning, 3-1 loss to open Saturday’s doubleheader... Thatcher struck out two and allowed just four hits in his second complete game of the season... Hartford was scheduled to play a mid-week game against Iona, but inclement weather forced that game to be postponed to April 26 at Fiondella Field... This week, the Hawks will visit local rival Quinnipiac on Tuesday, then travel to Dartmouth on Wednesday before visiting Binghamton for a four-game series over the weekend.

Maine (12-20, 3-4 AE) took two of three games in a weekend series at Hartford... Maine scored nine runs in the three-game weekend series and five of the runs came on solo home runs... Maine hit a season-high three home runs in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday... Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) led the way with a pair, while Ian Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.), Joey Martin (Portland, Maine) and Mike Connolly (Middleborough, Mass.) each had one... Connolly’s home run was the first of his career... Junior pitcher Keith Bilodeau (Bourne, Mass.) pitched his second straight complete game for the Black Bears... He picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season on Saturday against Hartford... He allowed just one run on two hits over seven innings... Bilodeau leads the team in strikeouts, having fanned 49 batters in 48.2 innings... Maine is believed to be one of just three teams in the nation not to have played a home game on the season, joining North Dakota State and North Dakota... Maine is scheduled to host Colby College on Tuesday afternoon at 5 p.m. and then host Albany for a three-game America East series next weekend.

UMBC (4-23, 0-6 AE) dropped all three games at Stony Brook this past weekend... Senior Austin Drewyer (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) threw his third consecutive complete game on Sunday and leads the Retrievers with a 2-5 record and a 4.27 ERA... The senior has only issued four walks in 65.1 innings this year... Junior Michael Pesci (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) hit his first home run of the season Sunday, a three-run shot, and now leads the team with 10 extra-base hits, including eight doubles... Junior Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) leads the Retrievers with a .303 average along with a home run and 14 RBI... The Retrievers return to action Tuesday when they host George Washington at 6 p.m. before hosing the Seawolves in the return three-game conference series Friday and Saturday.

The Seawolves (22-9, 6-1 AE) went 3-1 on the week, sweeping UMBC after dropping a non-conference contest to Central Connecticut... Junior Nick Tropeano (West Islip, N.Y.) hurled a five-hit shutout in the Seawolves 12-0 victory in the series opener against UMBC... Tropeano did not walk a batter in the seven-inning game and struck out 11... It is the fourth time this season he has struck out 10 or more batters... Tropeano has allowed just one earned run over his last 27.0 innings pitched... The Seawolves won the second game of the series, 14-0, in a rain shortened game before winning 8-4 in the series finale... Sophomore Tanner Nivins’ (Kitchener, Ontario) two-run home run in the series finale broke a 3-3 tie... Nivins hit .667 with two home runs and four RBI in the three-game series... Freshman Kevin Courtney (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) hit .875 in the three-game set against the Retrievers and posted an on-base percentage of .900... Stony Brook is off to its best start since 2000.