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Ten Cortland Baseball Players Earn All-SUNYAC Honors; Joe Brown Named SUNYAC Coach of the Year


Ten members of the SUNY Cortland baseball team have been selected to the 2022 State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) all-league team, and head coach Joe Brown has been chosen as the Walter Nitardy SUNYAC Coach of the Year, in a vote by the league’s coaches.

Four Red Dragons earned first team honors – junior pitcher Anthony Fusco (Yorktown Heights/Yorktown), senior catcher James Varian (Hopewell Junction/Trinity-Pawling), senior third baseman Danny Coleman (Saratoga Springs) and senior outfielder Scott Giordano (Croton-on-Hudson/Croton-Harmon). Six Cortland players were chosen to the second team – senior pitcher Ryan Flansburg (Queensbury), senior second baseman Andrew Michalski (Buffalo/St. Francis), senior shortstop Ben Rhodes (Amsterdam), senior outfielder Antonio Pragana (Hopewell Junction/John Jay), senior relief pitcher Mike Hennessy (Stony Brook/Smithtown East) and graduate student utility player Hunter Holliday (Camden).

Brown earned SUNYAC Coach of the Year honors for the eighth time in his 23-year tenure as Cortland’s head coach. He’s led the Red Dragons to a 33-10 record, to date, and the program’s 36th SUNYAC title at last weekend’s conference tournament in Oswego. Cortland extended its Division III record to 29 straight NCAA tournament appearances (1993-2022; no tournament in 2020) and will host a four-team NCAA regional this Friday through Sunday, May 20-22.\

Fusco has an 8-2 record and 3.02 ERA in 13 appearances, 11 as a starter. He’s allowed 56 hits in 59 and two thirds innings with 33 strikeouts. Fusco was 5-1 in six starts during the SUNYAC regular season.

Varian is a first team All-SUNYAC honoree for the third straight season (2019, 2021, 2022). He’s appeared in 42 games this spring, 38 as a starter, and is batting .357 with eight doubles, five homers, 27 RBI, 38 runs scored, 22 walks and six steals. He sports a .484 on-base percentage and .540 slugging percentage, and behind the plate he’s thrown out seven runners trying to steal and has not committed an error. Varian hit .393 in 18 SUNYAC regular-season games.

Coleman has started all 43 games this season and is batting .404 with 18 doubles, 12 homers, 64 RBI, 52 runs scored, 29 walks and four steals. He has a .500 on-base percentage and .750 slugging percentage. Coleman’s 12 homers are tied for second in a season at Cortland with Steve Nickel (2010), one behind the record of 13 set by Alex Steele in 1997. Coleman’s 64 RBI are four behind the school record of 68 (Andersen Gardner in 2010) and his 18 doubles are three away from Giordano’s record 21 two-baggers in 2019. Coleman hit .469 in 18 league games with 12 doubles, four homers, 29 RBI and 21 runs.

Giordano was named to the all-league first team for the third time; he was the league’s Player of the Year in 2019 as well as a first team choice last spring. This year he’s started all 43 games and is batting .402 with 11 doubles, a triple, five homers, 49 RBI, 41 runs, 30 walks and 10 steals. He has a .487 on-base percentage and .573 slugging percentage and has not committed an error in 115 fielding chances in center field. Giordano hit .439 in 18 league games during the regular season.

Flansburg is a second team All-SUNYAC selection for the second straight year. He’s currently 4-1 this spring with a 3.77 ERA in 13 appearances, 12 as a starter. He’s allowed 51 hits and has fanned 52 batters in 62 inningss. Flansburg is 3-0 in six league starts with a 2.48 ERA.

Michalski has started 42 games and is batting .382 with five doubles, 28 RBI, 34 runs, 16 walks and five steals. He has a .460 on-base percentage, and he’s committed only three errors, including just one while playing second base. Michalski batted .400 in 18 league starts with three doubles and 15 RBI.

Rhodes has appeared in 39 games, 34 as a starter, and is hitting .287 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, 18 RBI, 26 runs, 21 walks and five steals. He batted .311 with 13 RBI in 17 regular-season league games.

Pragana is an all-league selection for the second time; he was a first team choice and Rookie of the Year in 2018. This spring he’s appeared in 38 games, 31 as a starter, and is hitting .345 with 11 doubles, a triple, 16 RBI, 44 runs, 19 walks and three steals. He has a .456 on-base percentage and has not committed an error in 46 chances in the outfield. Pragana batted .434 in 17 league games with six double, a triple, seven RBI and 12 walks.

Hennessy is 1-1 with three saves and 4.15 ERA in 13 appearances out of the bullpen. He’s allowed 18 hits and has 11 strikeouts with just four walks in 17 and a third innings. Hennessy posted a win and a save during league play in five appearances.

Holliday has seen action at second base, the outfield and at designated hitter during his 32 contests, 19 as a starter. He’s batting .277 with 10 doubles, three homers, 23 RBI and 20 runs. Holliday hit .303 with three homers in 13 SUNYAC regular-season games.

From the office of Fran Elia, Sports Information Director, SUNY Cortland Communications Office

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