2017 MLB Season: First Impressions

mlb.jpegBy Daniel Daly,

The 2017 MLB season is underway and teams are starting to show their true colors. There have been many surprises around the league. Here are some of the most notable stories taking place so far:

New York Yankees: During the offseason, many analysts predicted that the Yankees would end up a .500 or sub .500 team. This seemed to be a reality after starting the season 1-4, but the Bombers weren’t phased. They have now won 8 straight games and are second in the AL East with a 9-4 record behind the Baltimore Orioles. They are an offensive powerhouse with a league leading plus-23 run differential and are second in the league with an .804 OPS behind the bats of Aaron Judge and Chase Headley. Is this the real Yankees? Or will we see the faults that many analysts predicted?

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are not looking like the same team that won the 2016 World Series. The Cubs just dropped their fourth straight after a 6-3 loss to the Brewers last night. Their Bullpen is struggling and have been a major issue on the way to 6-7 start.

Eric Thames: After leaving the MLB for a short stint in Korea, Eric Thames seems to have found his groove at age 30. Given the nickname ‘God’ in Korea, it was no surprise that an MLB team like the Brewers would sign Thames. The real surprise is that he has hit a league-leading 7 home runs and has a .405 batting average through 14 games.

It is still premature to make any predictions about the rest of the season. Will the Yankees continue to shine? Will the Cubs turn things around? Will Eric Thames continue to dominate? Each week we will find out more about the true identity of the teams and their players. There will be many more stories coming out of the MLB that we will follow into October.


Golden Eagles Soar to the sixth spot in SUNYAC Conference

women's basketball
Seniors Hannah Rehbaum and Faith Welch put the Golden Eagles team on their backs en route to the semis of the SUNYAC tournament. Photo: courtesy of Brockport Athletic Communications.

By: Daniel Daly

After starting the season 0-7, including a blowout 93-47 loss to No. 11 nationally ranked University of Rochester, the Brockport Golden Eagles women’s basketball team dug deep and won three of its next four games beating conference rivals like SUNY Potsdam and SUNY Plattsburgh to improve to 3-8 to before the brunt of the conference schedule.

“We started off a little shaky and not how any of us wanted to but we really learned and grew as a team along the way,” senior forward Hannah Rehbaum said.

Rehbaum, along with fellow senior guard Faith Welch, led the team in multiple strong outings during the remainder of the regular season with strong wins against Cortland, twice, and a key road win at Oneonta.

Both Rehbaum and Welch were named to the 2017 SUNYAC All-Conference Third-Team. They led the Golden Eagles in scoring; Rehbaum averaging 11.3 points per game and Welch with 10.5.

“I really just wanted to go out on a high note for my last year,” Rehbaum said. “I worked really hard in the off season to get stronger and improve my game and that helped me in the long run.”

Coach Corinne Jones couldn’t be more proud of her two seniors.

“These two players left Brockport women’s basketball better than they found it,” Jones said.

Rehbaum and Welch helped lead the team to eight conference wins, seven wins on the road, and a sixth place ranking in the conference.

The team had a staple 70-64 win over Oneonta in the first round of the SUNYAC tournament but the Golden Eagles would go on to lose to eventual conference champion, New Paltz.

“I’m really proud of this group for trusting the process, reaching our vision of finishing in the top six of the SUNYAC and advancing to the semifinals of the SUNYAC tournament for the first time since 2008-09,” Jones said.

Jones is looking forward to improving on the success of this year for next season.

“Our returners are hungry to get to work this off season. We plan to continue building our program into a top team in the SUNYAC,” Jones said.

Men’s lacrosse team gears up for another season

Senior defender Colin Blind (No. 14) in the 2016 SUNYAC Championship against Cortland.  The team finished the season with a 12-4 record.  Photo: courtesy of Brockport Athletic Communication Department via Flickr.com

By Amir Rogers

The College at Brockport men’s lacrosse team is preparing for the start of their 2017 campaign with their first game at Alfred University on March 1. Following the team’s 12-4 performance last season, including its  4-2 conference record, the Golden Eagles have been picked to finish third in the 2017 State University of New York Athletic Conference preseason poll.

“Expectations are the same,” coach Ben Wineburg said. “We want to make the conference tournament every year.”

With a number of returning players the Golden Eagles hope their chemistry will help propel them into the conference tournament and possibly the NCAA tournament. Among players returning who will make an impact, one of them is senior defender Colin Blind.

“We need to have heart, discipline and unselfishness in order to be a championship team,” Wineburg said.

Last season, Blind was named to the SUNYAC All-Conference First Team and was a big part of the team’s gritty defense that limited its opponents to an average of 27 shots or less a contest.

The Golden Eagles will have their home opener at Bob Boozer Field March 4 against Clarkson University. Last season the Golden Eagles were able to edge Clarkson 10-9. The Golden Eagles will host six regular season games, three of them being SUNYAC league games against Plattsburg, Oneonta and Oswego.

Be sure to check out @Brockportbeat on Twitter for more news and updates.

The last year of Brockport’s great Wall

A preview of Brockport’s 2017 women’s lacrosse team

Senior Kelly Wall plays in the 2016 NCAA tournament’s second round against St. Mary’s. Wall had 57 goals and 31 assists last year earning herself first team All-SUNYAC honors. Photo: courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Communication Department via Flickr.com

By Dan Daly

After finishing its 2016 season with a strong overall record of 15-4, the ninth-ranked Brockport women’s lacrosse team is looking to improve upon the success of last year.

Head coach Stephen Wagner says he has high expectations for his team this season.

“We are first and foremost trying to make it to the NCAA tournament again,” Wagner said. “We have a solid core of returners and some great new players that are very focused on making it to the final four.”

This season, the team will have to deal with the loss of five seniors from last year’s squad.  Two of these players include All-SUNYAC player Makensie Schuber and 2016 Defensive Player of the Year Courtney Szczesniak, who were both important members of the team.  Szczesniak is now a member of Wagner’s coaching staff looking to train the team’s next defensive star.

Someone looking to step up this year will be senior defender Cassandra Minerd.  After having an impressive season of her own, making the All-SUNYAC list, Minerd will be tapped to fill the void left by Szczesniak.

Senior attacker and offensive powerhouse Kelly Wall will also be expected to make her usual impact this season. Wall is coming off of an 88-point season with 57 goals, 31 assists and first team All-SUNYAC honors.

Having been picked top-ten in preseason polls, the team will be under extra pressure to perform at their usual high level.

“Every team we play against is going to be gunning for us,” Wagner said. “The team is really tough and motivated so I’m excited to see how they respond.”

As they take the field in 2017, the Golden Eagles look to avenge last season’s losses to Cortland in the SUNYAC Tournament championship, as well as their third-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.  However, Coach Wagner is not thinking that far ahead just yet.

“I really just want to keep getting better every day and let the big picture take care of itself,” Wagner said.

The Golden Eagles’ road back to NCAA Tournament begins Sunday, February 26, when the Golden Eagles take on Denison University in Granville, Ohio.

Newcomb: SUNYAC men’s basketball bracketology

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Senior forward Clifton Lyerly takes the ball to the hole against the No. 1 seeded Oswego Lakers on Senior Day, Feb. 18. Lyerly finished with 15 points and six rebounds for the Golden Eagles. Photo: courtesy of Brockport Athletic Communication Department via Flickr, Sam Cherubin.

By: Nicholas Newcomb

After The College at Brockport men’s basketball team took down top-ranked Oswego 80-75 behind junior guard Hamed Shamseldin’s 24 point-performance on Senior Day Saturday, Feb. 18, the Golden Eagles locked up the No. 2 spot in the State University of New York Athletic Conference’s (SUNYAC) postseason tournament beginning Tuesday, Feb. 21.

However, Brockport won’t play until Friday because both the Golden Eagles and the No. 1 seeded Lakers earned first round byes.

With all the action this week here are a few story lines for Brockport and the SUNYAC tournament.

This is the best Brockport basketball team since its 2013-14 season: It’s been a while since Brockport’s 57-56 win over SUNY Plattsburgh in the conference finals in 2014. That season was the team’s now leading scorer Clifton Lyerly’s freshman season in which he played beside one of Brockport’s greatest talents, John Ivy, who is now a member of the Rochester RazorSharks professional basketball team. Since that season Lyerly’s career has arguably been anti-climactic in terms of the team’s overall performance. But he has the chance to rewrite that narrative and cap off his final collegiate season with a second SUNYAC title.

The Golden Eagles will have to play either Geneseo or Oneonta: Brockport beat Oneonta twice in the regular season in some high-scoring affairs and split their series with Geneseo. The Golden Eagles lost to the Knights by 20 points in January but then took them down by nearly 20 points in their second match up. I’m at a loss for who I would rather they face in the semifinals. It’s difficult beating a team three times in one season but we also don’t know what we’ll get with a Geneseo match up.

Oswego will be waiting at the championship game: Oswego has played in both the last two conference championship games and won the title in 2015. Every year they are a powerhouse come tournament time and this year will be no different, especially because they’re hosting the event. The key to shutting the Lakers down is keying in on senior guard Brian Sortino. He has consistently been one of the league’s top-scorers for the past few years and knows how to get his shot. Sortino averages 20 points per game and shoots 40 percent from beyond the arc. Whether or not Brockport makes it on the other side of the bracket, you can expect the Lakers will cruise to the finals.


First Round: No. 5 Buffalo State at No. 3 Cortland, No. 6 Geneseo at No. 4 Oneonta, Tuesday, Feb. 21 @ 5:30 p.m.

Semifinals: No. 2 Brockport vs. Geneseo/Oneonta winner, Friday, Feb. 24 @ 5:30 p.m.; No. 1 Oswego vs. Buffalo State/Cortland winner, Friday, Feb. 24 @ 7:30 p.m.

Championship: Saturday, Feb. 25 @ 4 p.m.

Predictions: I don’t expect any upsets this year and I fully expect Brockport and Oswego will meet in the championship game.

Be sure to check out @Brockportbeat on Twitter for more news and updates.

Gymnastics “sticks” it to cancer

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The team’s eight seniors, with coach John Feeney (middle), were honored prior to the team’s annual “Stick it to Cancer” fundraiser/meet Sunday, Feb. 19. Photo: courtesy of the Brockport Athletic Department via Flickr.com (Sam Cherubin)

By: Micalah Hutchings

The College at Brockport gymnastic’s team hosted its annual “Stick it to Cancer” meet which also doubled as Senior Day honoring the team’s eight seniors Sunday, Feb. 19. All proceeds, which totaled over $1,000, were donated to the Golisano Children’s Hospital.

The Golden Eagles cruised past Cortland winning 192.300-188.825 and improved their record to 10-2 on the year.

“I’m so happy how this meet turned out,” senior Maddie O’Braitis, who finished second on the uneven bars with a score of 9.550, said. “We won and a lot of us got some personal best (scores). The proceeds went to a really great cause as well.”

Brockport will return to action Sunday, Feb. 26 when they travel to Ithaca to take on the Bombers, Ursinus College and Rhode Island College in the Harriet Marranca Memorial Invitations.

The Brockport women’s gymnastics team huddles up before taking down SUNY Cortland in their final home meet of the season Sunday, Feb. 19. Photo: Micalah Hutchings