Saturday, July 26, 2014

Kenny Wormley Commits to Siena

This came out yesterday afternoon, but I was right in the middle of another Tri-City ValleyCats victory, so we've got a slightly more complete story on Siena's first commitment for 2015 here.

Kenny Wormely, a 6-3 guard from Maryland who plays for Riverdale Baptist and Team Takeover on the AAU circuit, officially became the Saints' first verbal commitment for the '15 season on Friday night.

If that AAU team sounds vaguely familiar, there's a good reason. Rising sophomore and Siena point guard Marquis Wright played for the same team and, according to reports, Wormely is very much in the same vein as far as the style he brings to the court. In fact, there's also some word that Wormley will be Wright's heir apparent when he graduates in 2017.

Of course, we're all getting a little ahead of ourselves with prospects of the 2017 team, so let's focus on what Wormley brings to the hardwood right now.

According to Verbal Committs, he's a two-star recruit with a game that is exactly the kind of style you'd look for in a take-over point guard. He's strong, he's aggressive, but he doesn't try to force the offense and he's more than capable of directing a play on the floor.

Prior to verbally committing to Siena, Wormley had already received an offer from Florida Gulf Coast and had gotten interest from schools like George Mason, Rider, Sacred Heart and UNC-Wilmington.

Don't worry about the mistake in his tweet, he went back later last night and updated it. It's still Siena College.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

20 Questions with the 'Cats

Alright. So here's the deal.

We've (mostly me) covered every single Tri-City ValleyCats game at home so far this season and we've (again, mostly me) written player features and long form features on the organization as a whole. We've tweeted #FunFacts and updated stats and now, midway through the season, we're (or me) looking to do something just a little different.

That something a little different began today with the inaugural 20 QUESTIONS WITH THE 'CATS initiative.

Basically, the idea is to play 20 questions with these minor league baseball players, most of whom are in their first season of pro ball and get to know them a little bit better. There are some baseball questions, mainly because there have to be, but for the most part these are random and ridiculous and, hopefully most of all, entertaining.

So today (Thursday) I began with catcher Jamie Ritchie who has been hitting insanely well over his last dozen or so games and that Q&A will run in Friday's paper. I also spoke to outfielder Ryan Bottger who once hit three home runs in three straight games this season.

Now, why am I telling you this? To get your response and find out who you want to play 20 questions with next. There are a ton of talented players on this team with, no doubt, interesting facts to share about themselves. So if you want to hear where your favorite ValleyCat would chose to go given the opportunity to jump in a time-traveling Delorean, send your suggestion.

You can post in the comments who you want to hear from or shoot me a tweet (@LauraAmato) or send me an e-mail ( I'm planning on having this run for the next week or so, so make sure you share you thoughts soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UAlbany picked 10th in CAA, Osbourne earns preseason honors

A year after joining the league, and without posting a single conference victory, the UAlbany football team has been picked to finish 10th in the CAA this fall, the league announced at its annual media day on Wednesday.

Rhode Island and newcomer Elon were picked to finish 11th and 12th, the only teams behind UAlbany.

The preseason poll selected New Hampshire in first place, garnering a lopsided 15 votes for the spot. The complete list is:
1. New Hampshire (15)
2. Villanova (2)
3. Richmond (3)
4. William & Mary (3)
5. Towson
6. Delaware
7. Maine
8. James Madison (1)
9. Stony Brook
10. UAlbany
11. Rhode Island
12. Elon

In addition to releasing the preseason poll, CAA football has also announced its preseason all-conference team. Villanova quaterback John Roberterson was named Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, while William and Mary defensive lineman Mike Reilly earned Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Running back Omar Osbourne, who has already picked up a handful of preseason accolades, was the only Great Dane named to the preseason All-Conference Team.

To see the entire team listing, go ahead and click the link here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Siena's Manning to lead Goodwill Tour in Europe

Siena men's basketball assistant coach Greg Manning will be leading a group of college student-athletes on a Goodwill European Tour from August 13-22, it was announced on Monday. 

Saints rising sophomores Lavon Long and Troy-High grad Javion Ogunyemi have both been selected to play for the team. 

The 10-day tour includes stops in Brussels, London, Amsterdam and Paris and the team will play six games across several countries, wrapping up with the scheduled finale in Paris. 

“This is a great opportunity for younger student athletes to broaden their horizons,” Manning said. “We will be playing lots of basketball against international competition, and doing it against the backdrop of some of the world’s most famous cities. Everyone is really excited for the trip.”

This is a bit of a family affair for Manning, who will act as the team's head coach, while his father and Mount St. Mary's assistant coach Donny Lind will serve as his assistant.

The roster for the team consists of the following college student-athletes
Lavon Long - Siena
Javion Ogunyemi - Siena
Khalid Nwandu - Mt. St. Mary's
Jalen Carethers - Radford
Cory Blake - Westchester
Logan Stumpf - Westchester
Dion Wiley - Maryland
Patrick Wallace - NC State
Steven Spieth - Brown 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tri-City ValleyCats roster updates and moves

The ValleyCats wrapped up a six-game road trip on Monday night and, let's just say, things went pretty well.

In their first games outside the Stedler Division, the 'Cats opened with back-to-back victories over the Jamestown Jammers, winning two of that three game series, and also went 2-for-3 against the Williamsport Crosscutters.

While the final victories are certainly important, the biggest takeaway from the road trip may be how well Tri-City is, still hitting. Over the course of the six-game stretch, the ValleyCats combined for 65 hits while giving up 38 from their opponents and the only time the team didn't hit in double digits (three hits in a 5-0 loss to Williamsport) was a rain-shortened five inning game.

Pitching-wise, the 'Cats still looked strong on the arm of starter Troy Scribner, whose 38 strikeouts this season are a New York-Penn League best. The right-handed also pitched a season-long six innings against the Crosscutters on Saturday, giving up one hit and striking out seven. He leads Tri-City with 29 innings pitched, a 4-1 record and a 1.24 ERA.

On four different occasions during the road trip, the 'Cats had at least four batters post multi-hit games, lead by first baseman A.J. Reed, who has been quietly dominating at the plate recently and went 9-for-20 on the road with three doubles, a home run and five RBI. Leadoff hitter Bobby Boyd and recent addition tot he roster, Derek Fisher, both went 8-for-24 with the former recording two triples, four RBI and two stolen bases.

Of course, that kind of offensive production is going to warrant some looks from the higher-ups and the parent club and on Tuesday, third baseman (and third-round draft pick) J.D. Davis became the third 'Cat to be called up to full-season A squad, the Quad Cities River Bandits. Davis, who batted .297 for Tri-City in 30 games, joins knuckleballer Blaine Sims and infielder Marc Wik in the Midwest League.

With so much roster movement in Tri-City, the ValleyCats have also seen some recent additions to the squad over the MLB All-Star break. Juan Santana (Greenville Astros) and Randall Fant (GCL Astros), who pitched for the 'Cats last season, were both added to the roster on Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Anosike solid in final summer league game with Celtics

Former Siena standout O.D. Anosike wrapped up his summer league action with the Boston Celtics on Saturday and his final game was certainly his most productive.

Anosike saw 17:58 on the court going 6-of-7 from the floor and 1-of-2 from the line and his 13 points were the best of anyone coming off the bench in the Celtics' 95-86 loss to the Pacers.

While the points were certainly impressive, and the best numbers Anosike has put up all week, the real reason not notice his line on the box score is with the two little squares of rebounding.

For all intents and purposes, Anosike was brought into the summer league on his reputation of being a solid rebounder and a force to be reckoned with underneath the basket. So, that what's he did on Friday morning, pulling in seven offensive rebounds and three defensive rebounds.

To put that all in perspective, the Celctis recorded 16 total offensive rebounds. Also, Anosike had seven shot attempts. Let's all do the math on that one.

Friday was the fourth time Anosike saw action on the court after putting in 19 minutes in Thursday's victory over Orlando (with four rebounds and two blocked shots) , one minute against Detroit and 16 minutes against Indianapolis (with four rebounds and one steal).

Now that the summer league schedule has wrapped, Anosike's NBA future is still a bit up in the air but he does still plan to return to Europe, where he had competed to much success last season.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

RPI athletics adds four more to Hall of Fame

The RPI Athletics Hall of Fame Selection Committee announced four names for the Class of 2014 on Wednesday afternoon, Jennifer (Tulloch) Dias (track & field '07); Paris Moore (basketball '05); Brian Pothier (hockey '00) and long-time academic advisor Bob Conway. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the 2014 Class into the Rensselaer Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton in a statement released by the department. “Each member has been an ambassador for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Department of Athletics and truly epitomizes all we value in our student-athletes and our role models.”

To see a short synopsis of each athlete's contributions to the Engineers' athletic program, check it all out under the cut.