Hartford Hawks baseball

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Hartford Hawks
Founded: 1958
Hartford Hawks athletic logo

University University of Hartford
Conference America East
Location West Hartford, CT
Head Coach Justin Blood (3rd year)
Home Stadium Fiondella Field
(Capacity: 1,000)
Nickname Hawks
Colors

Scarlet and White

            

The Hartford Hawks baseball team is the varsity intercollegiate baseball program of the University of Hartford, located in West Hartford, Connecticut. The program has been a member of the NCAA Division I America East Conference since the start of the 1985 season. It has played home games at Fiondella Field since the venue opened at the start of the 2006 season. Justin Blood has been the program's head coach since the start of the 2012 season. As of the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season, two former Hawks have appeared in Major League Baseball.

History[edit]

The Hartford Art School, Hartt College of Music, and Hillyer College merged to create the University of Hartford in February 1957. It began operation for the 1957–1958 school year.[1] Although some Hartford athletic programs, such as men's basketball, trace their history to the teams of Hillyer College, records for the baseball program begin with the 1958 season.[2]

Division II[edit]

1958 was the program's first season of competition. It competed as a member of the NCAA College Division, made up of small-school athletic programs. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the program competed as an Independent and played a schedule of between ten and twenty games each season.[3]

The program's first head coach, Frank Klein, served in the position for three seasons (1958–1960). The program had a losing record in each season, and Klein's overall record was 14-29.[3][4] He later became the first commissioner of the Connecticut Collegiate Summer Baseball League.[5]

In 1961, Roger Wickman became the program's second head coach. In his first season, the program had its first winning record, going 7-5 in 1961. In twenty seasons as head coach, Wickman had six total winning seasons and finished with a career record of 146-178-5. Following the 1980 season, he stepped down from the head coaching position to become an administrator in Hartford's athletic department.[3][6]

During Wickman's tenure (following the 1973 season), the NCAA had reorganized its divisions. The large-school University Division became Division I, while the small-school College Division split to become Divisions II and III. Hartford, which had competed as a College Division Independent, became a Division II Independent.[7] It continued to compete as an Independent through Wickman's final season as head coach in 1980.[3]

In the 1980–1981 academic year, Hartford became a charter member of the Northeast-7 Conference, along with American International College, Assumption College, Bentley College, Bryant College, Springfield College, and Stonehill College. The league became known as the Northeast-8 Conference when Saint Anselm College joined for the 1981–1982 academic year.[8] In four seasons (1981–1984) as a member of the conference, Hartford had an overall record of 11-61, including winless seasons in 1983 and 1984.[3]

Division I[edit]

For the start of the 1984–1985 academic year, Hartford's athletic programs transitioned to Division I, joining the ECAC. For the 1985 season, the program's first in Division I, it hired former Major League Baseball player Bill Denehy as its head coach. That season, the team went 2-24.[3] In 1986, Denehy's second season, the team's record improved slightly to 8-34. Denehy was fired during his third season for making inflammatory comments following a game against Connecticut in which two brawls broke out. Athletic director Don Cook, assisted by Wickman, coached the team for the remainder of the season.[3][6]

Prior to the start of the 1988 season, Hartford hired Quinnipiac head coach Dan Gooley as a permanent replacement for Denehy. In Gooley's first season, the Hawks went 29-12 and finished second in the ECAC Tournament. In 1989, the team went 17-15-1 to give the program consecutive winning seasons for the first time since 1971–1972. In 1992, the team went 27-21 and finished second in the North Atlantic Conference (which sponsored its first season of baseball in 1990), again appearing in the ECAC Tournament.[3][9]

In the late 1980s, future Major League Baseball player Jeff Bagwell played three seasons for the program. Recruited by Denehy, Bagwell played under him in 1987, then under Gooley from 1988–1989.[10][11] In 400 at bats with the program, Bagwell's batting average was .413, a program record.[12] Bagwell was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round of the 1989 MLB Draft.[13] He had a fifteen-year major league career with the Houston Astros in which he won a National League MVP Award and appeared in four All-Star Games.[14]

Following the 1992 season, Gooley left Hartford to become a baseball corporate executive, and the program promoted assistant coach and former Major League player Moe Morhardt to replace him.[9][15] Morhardt held the position for two seasons (1993–1994), in which the program won at least 20 games per season and made consecutive NAC Tournament appearances.[a] The team was eliminated in the opening round in the 1993 tournament. As the fifth seed in 1994, Hartford defeated fourth-seeded Maine in a best-of-three opening round. It then won its first two games in the double-elimination final round (5-1 against first-seeded Delaware and 6-5 against second-seeded Northeastern). The team then lost consecutive games to Northeastern in the championship round, however, and finished as the tournament runner-up.[16] Morhardt resigned as head coach following the season.[17]

UNC Asheville head coach Jim Bretz was hired to replace Morhardt, and Bretz held the position for three seasons (1995–1997).[18] Under him, the program averaged only 16 wins per season and finished no higher than sixth in conference play.[3] It qualified for the 1996 NAC Tournament, in which it finished third.[16][19] Bretz resigned following the 1997 season "for personal reasons," according to the university. Bob Nenna, one his Bretz's assistant coaches and a Hartford player from 1989–1992, led the team to a 13-32 record as interim head coach in 1998.[3][12][20] Future Major League player Earl Snyder played under Bretz and Nenna from 1995–1998. Snyder set program career records for home runs (53) and runs batted in (173). Snyder later played for both the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.[12][21]

From 1999–2011, the program had a pair of head coaches whose career winning percentages were below .300.[3] Hartford hired Bowdoin and Falmouth Commodores head coach Harvey Shapiro for the start of the 1999 season.[22] In six seasons (1999–2004), Shapiro's head coaching record was 76-199-1. Under him, the team finished no higher than sixth in conference play and did not qualify for an America East Tournament, which in 1998 had adopted a four-team format.[16] Shapiro resigned following the 2004 season.[23] Indiana assistant Jeff Calcaterra replaced Shapiro.[24] Calcaterra held the position from the start of the 2005 season until partway through the 2011 season, when he was fired with an overall record of 79-236-1.[3][25][26] At the start of the 2006 season, Calcaterra's second season, the program opened Fiondella Field, the program's first on-campus venue since the mid-1980s.[27]

To replace Calcaterra, the program hired Connecticut assistant Justin Blood for the 2012 season.[28] Commenting on Blood's hiring, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America called him "one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the Northeast."[29] In both 2012 and 2013, Blood's first two seasons as head coach, the Hawks finished in fifth place in the America East.[16][30] In 2014, Hartford went 31-23, finishing second in the America East; pitcher Sean Newcomb was named the America East Pitcher of the Year. The team qualified for the conference tournament, where the team went 1-2. It was Hartford's first winning season since 1992 and first postseason appearance since 1996.[31][3][16] Following the season, three Hawks were selected in the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft, including Newcomb, who was selected in the first round by the Los Angeles Angels. Newcomb was Hartford's highest draft pick ever, and the three draftees were the program's first since 2004.[32][33][34] Following the season, Blood signed a five-year contract extension through the 2019 season.[35]

Conference affiliations[edit]

Venues[edit]

Early venues[edit]

In its early years as a Division II program, Hartford played home games on campus. It began to use off-campus venues in the mid-1980s.[27] These venues included New Britain's Beehive Field, Bristol's Muzzy Field, East Hartford's Ray McKenna Field, and Simsbury's Memorial Field.[23][36][37]

Fiondella Field[edit]

Main article: Fiondella Field

Since it opened at the start of the 2006 season, on-campus Fiondella Field has been the program's home. It has a seating capacity of 1,000 spectators and an artificial turf surface.[27]

Coaches[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Roger Wickman is both the program's longest-tenured and winningest head coach. He held the position from 1961–1980 and won 146 games.[3]

Tenure(s) Coach Seasons W-L-T Pct
1958–1960 Frank Klein 3 14-29 .326
1961–1980 Roger Wickman 20 146-178-5 .459
1981–1983 Bill Nardi 3 11-46 .234
1984 Jim Keener 1 0-15 .000
1985–1987 Bill Denehy 2+[b] 17-73 .189
1987 Don Cook <1 4-12 .250
1988–1992 Dan Gooley 5 101-90-1 .529
1993–1994 Moe Morhardt 2 42-54 .438
1995–1997 Jim Bretz 3 48-78-1 .382
1998 Bob Nenna 1 13-32 .298
1999–2004 Harvey Shapiro 6 76-199-1 .275
2005–2011 Jeff Calcaterra 6+[c] 79-236-1 .251
2011 Jerry Shank <1 3-9 .250
2012–present Justin Blood 3 64-99 .393
TOTALS
13
57
618-1150-9
.350

Current coaching staff[edit]

Below is the Hawks' coaching staff for the 2013 season.[38]

  • Head coach – Justin Blood
  • Assistant coach – Steve Malinowski
  • Assistant coach – Mike Nemeth
  • Volunteer assistant coach – John Slusarz

Year-by-year records[edit]

Below is a table of the program's yearly records as both a Division II and Division I program.[3][30][39]

Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Independent (College Division) (1958–1973)
1958 Frank Klein 4-8
1959 Frank Klein 5-11
1960 Frank Klein 5-10
1961 Roger Wickman 7-5
1962 Roger Wickman 9-6
1963 Roger Wickman 8-7-1
1964 Roger Wickman 9-8
1965 Roger Wickman 8-8-1
1966 Roger Wickman 4-9
1967 Roger Wickman 1-11
1968 Roger Wickman 8-9
1969 Roger Wickman 7-9
1970 Roger Wickman 10-10-1
1971 Roger Wickman 10-9
1972 Roger Wickman 8-4-1
1973 Roger Wickman 5-10
Independent (Division II) (1974–1980)
1974 Roger Wickman 8-4
1975 Roger Wickman 8-10
1976 Roger Wickman 8-10
1977 Roger Wickman 4-15
1978 Roger Wickman 9-11
1979 Roger Wickman 10-10
1980 Roger Wickman 5-13-1
Independent: 160-207-5
Northeast-7/Northeast-8 (Division II) (1981–1984)
1981 Bill Nardi 4-20
1982 Bill Nardi 7-13
1983 Bill Nardi 0-13
1984 Jim Keener 0-15
Northeast-7/Northeast-8: 11-61
Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (Division I) (1985–1989)
1985 Bill Denehy 2-24
1986 Bill Denehy 8-34 2-12 6th
1987 Bill Denehy/Don Cook[b] 11-27 4-9 6th
1988 Dan Gooley 29-12 9-5 2nd ECAC Tournament
1989 Dan Gooley 17-15-1 9-6 2nd
ECAC: 67-112-1
North Atlantic/America East (Division I) (1990–present)
1990 Dan Gooley 15-20 4-10 6th
1991 Dan Gooley 13-22 5-10 5th
1992 Dan Gooley 27-21 18-10 2nd ECAC Tournament
1993 Moe Morhardt 20-27 9-15 6th NAC Tournament[a]
1994 Moe Morhardt 22-27 10-11 5th NAC Tournament[a]
1995 Jim Bretz 14-25 10-12 7th
1996 Jim Bretz 18-30-1 10-14 6th NAC Tournament
1997 Jim Bretz 16-23 7-16 7th
1998 Bob Nenna 13-32 7-19 8th
1999 Harvey Shapiro 12-34 7-20 8th
2000 Harvey Shapiro 13-34 6-22 8th
2001 Harvey Shapiro 14-35 10-18 8th
2002 Harvey Shapiro 17-29 8-14 7th
2003 Harvey Shapiro 9-34-1 7-15 6th
2004 Harvey Shapiro 11-33 5-16 8th
2005 Jeff Calcaterra 6-30 3-18 8th
2006 Jeff Calcaterra 11-38 8-16 6th
2007 Jeff Calcaterra 15-34 9-14 6th
2008 Jeff Calcaterra 18-31 10-13 5th
2009 Jeff Calcaterra 15-32 7-15 6th
2010 Jeff Calcaterra 11-37 5-19 5th
2011 Jeff Calcaterra/Jerry Shank[c] 6-43-1 3-20 5th
2012 Justin Blood 16-40 7-17 5th
2013 Justin Blood 17-36 13-17 5th
2014 Justin Blood 31-23 16-7 2nd America East Tournament
North Atlantic/America East: 380-770 204-378
Total: 618-1150-9

      National champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Notable former players[edit]

The following is a list of notable former Hawks and the seasons in which they played for the program.[40][41]

MLB Draft[edit]

2014[edit]

In the 2014 MLB Draft, Hartford had players selected for the first time since 2004. Pitcher Sean Newcomb was taken by the Angels in the first round (15th overall), pitcher Brian Hunter by the Reds in the ninth round, and catcher James Alfonso by the Mariners in the 30th round. All three signed professional contracts.[42][43][44][45]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c In this season, all members of the North Atlantic Conference qualified for its postseason tournament.
  2. ^ a b Denehy was fired partway through the 1987 season, due to an altercation with a Connecticut assistant coach.
  3. ^ a b Calcaterra was fired partway through the 2011 season.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "History: 50th Anniversary". Hartford.edu. University of Hartford Communications. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Yearly Results". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "All-Time Coaching Records". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "University of Hartford - Yearbook (Hartford, CT) - Class of 1961". Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ "New Statewide Baseball Loop Formed". The Morning Record (Meriden, CT, USA). May 22, 1964. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. "Frank Klein of Fairfield, former University of Hartford baseball coach, was named the league's commissioner-coordinator." 
  6. ^ a b "Denehy Fired as Hartford Baseball Coach". Lewiston Daily Sun (Lewiston, Maine, USA). Associated Press. 17 April 1987. p. 21. Archived from the original on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Liska, Jerry (7 August 1973). "NCAA Splits Into Three Divisions". The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio, USA). The Associated Press. p. 8. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  8. ^ "About the NE-10: History Timeline". Northeast10.org. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Dan Gooley". QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Quinnipiac Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Remember Me?". Hartford Courant. August 3, 1997. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  11. ^ Cloutier, Bill (January 9, 2013). "Baseball: Jeff Bagwell, 'Greatest Player' Quinnipiac's Dan Gooley Ever Coached, Doesn't Make Hall of Fame". NHRegister.com. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c "All-Time Career Records". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  13. ^ Gammons, Peter (December 26, 2010). "Bagwell Deserves Hall of Fame Call". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Jeff Bagwell". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  15. ^ Morhardt honored for his passion, love of the game at ctsports.homestead.com, URL accessed December 20, 2009. Archived 12/12/09
  16. ^ a b c d e "2013 America East Conference Baseball Record Book". AmericaEast.com. America East Conference. Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Transactions: College". Lawrence Journal-World (Lawrence, Kansas, USA). June 21, 1994. p. 5C. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2013. "HARTFORD-- ... Announced the resignation of Moe Morhardt, baseball coach." 
  18. ^ "Bretz to Coach Hartford Baseball". Hartford Courant. August 24, 1994. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  19. ^ "1997 Baseball Outlook". Hawks Baseball. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Baseball Coach at U of H Resigns". Hartford Courant. October 18, 1997. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Earl Snyder". BaseballAmerica.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  22. ^ Anderson, Woody (May 27, 1998). "Hartford Names Shapiro Baseball Coach". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  23. ^ a b "Turning for Home: UHart Baseball to Get Own Field". Hartford Courant. April 9, 2005. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Jeff Calcaterra New Head Man at Hartford". IUHoosiers.com. Indiana Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  25. ^ Amore, Dom (May 4, 2011). "UHart Parts Ways with Baseball Coach". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ Rutledge, Jessica (May 4, 2011). "Calcaterra Fired, Hartford Baseball in Search of a New Head Coach". HartfordInformer.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b c "Fiondella Field". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  28. ^ Anthony, Mike (September 20, 2011). "Coach Justin Blood Aims to Build Respect for UHart Baseball". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  29. ^ Fitt, Aaron (June 2, 2013). "Coaching Roundup: Nebraska Hires Darin Erstad". BaseballAmerica.com. Archived from the original on June 12, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b "2013 America East Conference Baseball Standings". D1Baseball.com. Jeremy and Cynthia Mills. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  31. ^ Jacobs, Jeff (May 21, 2014). "Blood Has Injected a Spark into Hartford Baseball Team". The Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on May 30, 2014. Retrieved May 30, 2014. 
  32. ^ Borges, David (June 7, 2014). "MLB Draft: Hartford Pitcher Sean Newcomb Highest Pick Ever for Hawks". NHRegister.com (New Haven Register). Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ DiGiovanna, Mike (June 5, 2014). "Top Pick Sean Newcomb Could Provide Immediate Help to Angels Bullpen". LATimes.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  34. ^ "MLB Amateur Draft Picks Who Came from "Hartford"". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  35. ^ Anthony, Mike (July 3, 2014). "Hartford Baseball Coach Justin Blood Signs Five-Year Contract". Courant.com (The Hartford Courant). Archived from the original on July 5, 2014. Retrieved July 5, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Hawks Split with Binghamton in Conference Opener". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. April 9, 2004. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Baseball Falls 11-6 to Holy Cross". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 8, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  38. ^ "2013 Baseball Coaching Staff". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Baseball". Archived from the original on June 20, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  40. ^ "University of Hartford Baseball Players Who Made It to the Major Leagues". Baseball-Almanac.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  41. ^ "All-Time Player Roster". HartfordHawks.com. Hartford Sports Information. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved June 10, 2013. 
  42. ^ "MLB Amateur Draft Picks Who Came from "University of Hartford (West Hartford, CT)"". Baseball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  43. ^ Anthony, Mike (July 18, 2014). "First-Round Pick Sean Newcomb, of UHart, Agrees to Terms with Angels". Courant.com (The Hartford Courant). Archived from the original on July 19, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Cincinnati Reds 2014 Draft Selections". Reds.MLB.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  45. ^ "Seattle Mariners 2014 Draft Selections". Mariners.MLB.com. Archived from the original on July 20, 2014. Retrieved July 20, 2014.