Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bertagnolli captures 600th win

CALIFORNIA – In the process of advancing to this weekend's Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship Series, California University of Pennsylvania head softball coach Rick Bertagnolli collected his 600th career victory with the Vulcans.

Bertagnolli is now one of only 15 active head softball coaches in NCAA Division II to amass 600 victories at one school. The all-time winningest coach in school history across all sports, he has compiled a 600-193 (.757) record while in the dugout with the Vulcans behind five NCAA regional crowns and back-to-back National Championships (1997-98).

In his 17th season at Cal U, Bertagnolli has guided the program to a 30-win season for the 12th time during his tenure. Including the 2010 campaign, he has guided the Vulcans to 13 PSAC West titles and 17 PSAC Tournament appearances.

During the spring trip last year, Bertagnolli earned his 800th career victory and now boasts an all-time coaching record of 863-243 (.780) in 25 seasons.

This weekend's PSAC Championship Tournament features two of the all-time winningest coaches in NCAA Division II history in Bertagnolli and Bloomsburg head coach Jan Hutchinson, who enters the double-elimination tournament with a NCAA-record 1,206 victories over 33 seasons.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trettel's streak stopped short of D-III record

Washington & Jefferson junior center fielder Andy Trettel had his 55-game on-base streak came to an end on Tuesday when he went 0-for-3 during the Presidents' 6-2 loss to Thomas More at Ross Memorial Park.

During the streak, Trettel batted .351 (67-of-191) with eight home runs and 53 RBI. He scored 62 runs during the 55 games.

Trettel's streak started on April 5, 2009, when he went 2-for-4 in the first game of a doubleheader at Westminster. He kept the streak active by recording at least one base hit 43 times. During the games he was held hitless, the streak remained active because Trettel either drew a walk (nine times) or was hit by a pitch (three times).

Trettel’s 55-game streak is the second-longest in NCAA Division III history. Salve Regina’s Damian Costantino retains the longest streak in history at 60 games.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Waynesburg's Marisa retiring

Waynesburg University athletic director Rudy Marisa will retire in July, ending a 41-year affiliation with the school.

Marisa spent 34 seasons as Waynesburg's men's basketball coach, winning 565 games and building the program into a national power during the school's days in the NAIA. He guided the Yellow Jackets to 15 consecutive appearances in the District 18 playoffs, including seven championships and trips to the national tournament in Kansas City, Mo. Waynesburg won an unprecedented six consecutive district championships from 1984 to 1989 and had a 131-21 record over a five-year period.

Waynesburg reached its peak under Marisa during the 1987-88 season when the Yellow Jackets compiled a 32-3 record and advanced to the NAIA Final Four, which was televised by ESPN.

At one stretch, Marisa's teams won 70 of 71 home games.

“Rudy has been a respected member of the Waynesburg University athletics department for more than four decades and has done an outstanding job as both a coach and administrator,” Waynesburg University President Timothy R. Thyreen said. “He will be missed, and as a campus community, we wish nothing but the absolute best for him and his entire family as he moves on to this next chapter in his life.”

During the same decade that his basketball program was thriving, Marisa became Waynesburg's athletic director. Seven years after his hiring, he helped lead Waynesburg into a new era when the school joined the NCAA Division III Presidents’ Athletic Conference in 1990.

Marisa guided Waynesburg to the PAC basketball championship in 1996 and two ECAC regional tournament appearances. He continued to coach until his retirement following the 2002-03 season. He was honored as a two-time PAC Coach of the Year and a five-time NAIA District 18 Coach of the Year.

While his coaching excellence is undeniable, Marisa also had a major impact as an administrator. During his time as athletic director, Waynesburg’s facilities have undergone major upgrades. John F. Wiley Stadium, the home of football, soccer and lacrosse teams, saw its bleachers expanded and an artificial playing surface installed. Waynesburg’s gymnasium, which was renamed the Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse in 2000, was expanded and had a second basketball court added. And, in the last year, an artificial surface baseball field was installed.

Marisa said he already has plans for retirement.

“I’ve done a lot of traveling during the summer months, and I would like to do more of that,” he said. “Some of our preliminary plans include a trip to Africa in the fall. I would also like to hunt more and spend more time with my grandchildren.”

Marisa is married to his wife of more than 50 years, Jackie. The couple has four sons: Kurt, Kent, Kameron and Kerry, and a daughter, Autumn.

A Fredericktown native, Marisa is a 1952 graduate of East Bethlehem High School. He played college basketball at Penn State and was a key member of the Nittany Lions' team that advanced to the Final Four in 1954 and was the team's second-leading scorer as a senior.

Marisa's coaching career started at Dunbar Township High School near Connellsville. He became the first head coach at Albert Gallatin High School, where he spent six years before moving to Trinity for one year. In 1969, he took over Waynesburg's struggling program that won only six games over the previous two seasons.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

W&J's Cieslinski wins regional

Washington & Jefferson junior Brad Cieslinski shot a final-round 71 Monday to become the first golfer in school history to earn medalist honors at the Mid-Atlantic Region Invitational played at Hershey Country Club.

Cieslinski opened with a round of 75 Sunday and then followed it with the 71. He finished three shots ahead of the runner-up.

Wesley (614) posted a team score of 307 for the second-straight day to top the 15-team field. McDaniel (615) and Susquehanna (615) were one stroke back of the Wolverines with W&J (620) fourth .

W&J senior John Williams, who tied for second place last year, posted back-to-back rounds of 80.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

10 reasons to say no to 96 teams in the NCAA tournament

10. The extra teams will make your bracket look like a Sudoku puzzle gone wild.

9. It means more Duquesnes, not more Dukes, get into the field.

8. The extra games will add nearly 300 more possible timeouts. Enough already.

7. You don't want Cinderella teams. You don't. This tournament has been filled with upsets and the television ratings are down. You really don't.

6. It doesn't resurrect a season. North Carolina isn't going to win the NCAA tournament simply because it gets a second chance. A bad team remains bad. Just ask UConn.

5. Because the NCAA is nothing but a hypocritical mass of fat bellies. If it's OK for basketball players to miss weeks of school to have a playoff, then why not football?

4. The level of play in college basketball has steadily dropped over the years because of the NBA early entrants. What type of talent does team No. 96 have?

3. It ruins the conference tournaments. If the Big East is going to get 12 teams into the tournament under the revamped format, why watch. It's just for seeding.

2. It won't save a coach's job.

1. It ends the NIT. And if the NIT doesn't exist, what will we watch on the off days of the NCAA tournament?

NCAA two-step to 96 tune

Sports writer John Feinstein grilled NCAA Senior VP of basketball and business strategies Greg Shaheen over the NCAA's new 96-team format and the extra amount of time that playters will miss in class.

This is a textbook type of avoiding the question by an NCAA that doesn't care about class time when they canb line their pockets with more cash.

Oh, and missed class time is the main reason why the NCAA says it doesn't want a football playoff:

Q: Basically they'll be out of school an entire week the second week?
Shaheen: Actually, if you were to look at the window for each individual team, you have to take each team and contemplate the fact right now you have half the field leaving campus on Tuesday, returning on Sunday or Monday.

Q: If they lose. I'm talking about the teams that win in advance. You're going to advance 16 teams.
Shaheen: No, actually in the current model you have teams that depart on Tuesday, and even if they win, return on Sunday.

Q: We're misunderstanding each other. Under the new model that you laid out, you play 64 teams Thursday/Friday. 32 advance to games Saturday/Sunday. Then you are down after those games to 32 teams.
Shaheen: Right.

Q: You're saying you play games in the round of 32 Tuesday/Wednesday. They would then advance to regionals when?
Shaheen: They would continue into the regional as it's normally scheduled now.

Q: So they would go Tuesday to Thursday, Wednesday to Friday?
Shaheen: Right.

Q: So they miss an entire week of school. That's what I'm trying to get.
Shaheen: If you listened to my original answer, they leave now on Tuesday.

Q: I'm talking about the second week, not the first week. They play a game Saturday/Sunday, play a game Tuesday or Wednesday, then go directly to the regional. Tell me when in that second week they're going to be in class.
Shaheen: The entire first week, the majority of the teams would be in class.

Q: You're just not going to answer the question about the second week. You're going to keep referring back to the first week, right? They're going to miss the entire second week under this model.
Shaheen: So they're going to go to school the first week, and then they're --

Q: They're going to be under the same schedule you said basically the first week, and then they'll miss the entire second week.
Shaheen: I'm clearly missing the nuance of your point.

Q: You and I miss nuances a lot. Thank you.
BOB WILLIAMS: Next question, please.