Week 9: April 10-16

By: Ryan Murphy

Micah McHugh (LSU-Eunice)

Professional Baseball-

Justin Brantley, New York Mets organization- Brantley's fourth season in professional baseball has been stellar through two weeks, as the Siena product has thrown 7.2 scoreless innings over four relief appearances. The righthander picked up his second win of the season on Friday, firing 2.2 nearly perfect innings against the Florida Fire Frogs. He also pitched a scoreless inning on Tuesday in an extra-inning loss to the Bradenton Marauders. Brantley is one of just nine pitchers in the Florida State League to throw at least seven innings without allowing an earned run.

Mike Kaelin, Los Angeles Angels organization- A Buffalo product and member of the 2014 Dutchmen, Kaelin has gotten off to a great start in his second season of professional baseball. In three appearances for the class-A Burlington Bees, Kaelin has recorded two saves and a victory, the second of his career. He pitched twice this week, throwing a scoreless inning to earn a save on Tuesday, and tossing two innings with three strikeouts on Friday in a win over the Clinton LumberKings. The 15th round selection in last year's draft has earned a positive decision in three of Burlington's five victories, and has helped the Bees to a 5-4 start.

NCAA Division I-

Tyler Nelin, George Mason- It was a big week for the 2015 Dutchmen catcher/outfielder, who helped the Patriots to non-conference wins over Maryland and Mount St. Mary's and a three-game sweep over A-10 foe Dayton. Nelin drove in runs in all five victories, and had at least one hit in each game, as well. The George Mason leader in RBIs belted a grand slam in a victory over Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday, and hit another home run in a Saturday win over Dayton. Over five games, Nelin drove in 11 runs and scored six, hitting .471 on the week.

Austin Goeke, Wagner- Another weekend meant another great start for the 2014 Dutchmen pitcher, who moved to 3-1 on the year with six quality innings against St. Bonaventure (and former Albany teammate David Vaccaro). Goeke, who has a miniscule 1.83 ERA over eight starts this season, did not allow an earned run, surrendering just one unearned run on five hits. The senior struck out three hitters in the 4-1 win, running up his team-best season total to 49.

Mike Reitcheck, Penn- The division-leading Quakers took a sweep over Princeton, completing the series with a complete game outing from Reitcheck. The 2015 PGCBL All-Star tossed all nine innings in Sunday's 10-2 series finale, allowing two runs without surrendering a walk. The former All-Ivy League selection earned his third win of the season in the triumph, striking out three hitters. Through eight appearances this season, Reitcheck has walked just six hitters in 50.1 innings, and has posted a 3.04 ERA.

Jack Gethings, Fairfield- Gethings has been an offensive leader for the red-hot Stags, who have won nine of their last ten contests. The 2016 Dutchmen hit safely in four of Fairfield's five wins this week, including all three games of a sweep of Saint Peter's. His standout game was a 2-for-3 outing on Saturday, where he hit his first home run of the season and scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Gethings has started every game for Fairfield, and is hitting .330 with 23 runs scored.

JT Genovese, UAlbany- With the ball in a midweek game against Manhattan, the 2015 Dutchmen arm snagged his first win of the campaign as the Great Danes toppled the Jaspers, 16-5. The senior allowed only one earned run in his six innings on the mound, and exited the game with a comfortable 13-3 lead. Only two Manhattan batters were able to hit safely against Genovese, who struck out four Jaspers in the win, which moved him to 1-1 on the season.

Dominic DiCaprio, Rice- DiCaprio, who wore the Dutchmen colors two years ago, continued to be the best hitter on the Rice roster. The catcher had at least two hits in each of the Owls' four most recent games, which included a midweek victory over rival Houston. He capped his week with a 3-for-3 effort on Sunday, despite a loss to the nationally ranked Southern Miss Golden Eagles. Through 38 games, DiCaprio is the team leader in batting average (.356), hits (47), home runs (4), runs batted in (29), and on-base percentage (.435).

Kyle Zurak, Radford- One of the best closers in Dutchmen history continued his stellar 2017 season with two saves this past week, running his season total to five. The 2014 PGCBL All-Star earned saves on Friday and Saturday against Campbell, starting with a perfect, three-strikeout final frame against the Camels on Friday. He then struck out two over two innings in an 8-5 victory the next day. Zurak's performance out of the bullpen aided the Highlanders in a crucial series sweep of Campbell.

Gavin Wallace, Fairfield- The nation's leader in complete games was at it again on Saturday, going the distance for the fifth time in a 3-2 win over Saint Peter's. In his seven innings, the 2015 and 2016 righty struck out seven hitters, and allowed just two runs on four hits. Wallace, who earned his sixth victory of the season, has been one of the best pitchers in the MAAC this season, and one of a select few with an ERA below 2.00. Perhaps his most impressive stat is the seven walks he has surrendered in 60 innings on the mound for the Stags, who are 7-2 in conference play.

Jack Owens, Bryant- Bryant has won 11 of their last 13 games after a 3-17 start, and the most recent victory was recorded by Owens. The 2016 Dutchmen pitcher pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and watched the Bulldogs score four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to deliver the redshirt freshman his first collegiate victory. It was Owens' first decision of the season, which has seen Bryant charge to an 8-2 record in the Northeast Conference.

NCAA Division II-

Justin Childers, Ohio Dominican- Albany's reigning co-Player of the Year hit a pair of home runs for the Panthers, the highlight of a 6-for-15 week. The returning Dutchmen hit safely in all three of ODU's games, led by a 3-for-5 performance at Ashland in the final game of the week. He also scored four runs on Wednesday in an 18-16 win over Walsh, hitting the first of his two home runs. Childers has hit eight home runs on the season, and his batting average sits at .405.

NCAA Division III-

Joe Pokrentowski, Saint Rose- Pokrentowski had his best start of the 2017 season on Tuesday, working seven quality innings as the Golden Knights swiped a 3-2 victory from American International. The 2016 Dutchmen pitcher struck out eight hitters with only one earned run, scattering seven hits throughout his seven innings. Pokrentowski walked just two hitters in what proved to be a no decision, but logged his longest and most effective outing of the season.

Junior College-

Micah McHugh, LSU-Eunice- The 2016 Dutchmen, who has pitched and hit for the Bengals, made a major impact on the round this past week. He was the winning pitcher in two of the team's five victories, and added three RBIs at the plate. He started his week with 1.1 scoreless frames on Wednesday, which allowed the Bengals to walk off for a 5-4 win over Wharton County. He stepped back on the mound on Saturday, entering the game in the ninth inning and tossing three scoreless in a 6-4 win. His efforts for the Bengals have helped the team amass a 36-8 record this season.

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