Seventy degree weather and athletes playing baseball with the number 95 on their back can only mean one thing: spring is here. With that, the 2011 season of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League lies just around the corner. The Albany Dutchmen took the first step in preparing themselves for a successful fourth season by locking in returning Head Coach, Nick Davey, for another season.
On a summer baseball team whose roster changes almost entirely every season, continuity would seem to be the furthest thing from a necessity. But, it was a major factor in the decision to bring Davey back. "To us, summer baseball is about creating a home away from home," said Dutchmen owner, Paul Samulski. "Guys leave their families, friends, girlfriends to come up to Albany and chase a dream. Everything we do is geared towards making sure that they feel comfortable and can focus on the joy of playing baseball. Nick is a huge part of our ability to do that. He's great with the players, with the fans, and with the community and we're ecstatic to have him back."
It doesn't hurt the community feel that Davey is a local resident himself. A 1998 graduate of Catholic Central High School in Troy, Davey was a four-year varsity starter (as a LHP), team captain in his junior and senior seasons, and a two-time All-Area selection. He continued his baseball career at St.Rose where he graduated in 2002 before going back to receive his Masters Degree in Advanced Special Education in 2009. Just in time to begin his first season at the helm of the Dutchmen.
"I want to thank Paul, [co-owner] Alan [Bignall] and [General Manager] Jason [Brinkman] for asking for me back for a third summer with the Albany Dutchmen," exclaimed Davey. "Each season we've taken steps forward in making this organization one of the best in the summer baseball circuit. I look forward to meeting our new group of guys and start working towards winning our first PGCBL championship. Being a local guy and having the opportunity to coach the highest level of amateur baseball in the capital district is something I really look forward to every summer. Getting the chance to develop future draft picks in my back yard makes June come sooner."
For the second season in a row, that quest will take place on a refurbished field on Davey's old campus. The Dutchmen play their home games on Bellizzi Field at the Plumeri Sports Complex of The College of St. Rose, where Davey had been a three-year starter and captain his final two years. As a senior, he went 6-3 and was selected All-League. A member of the 2000 Division II World Series Championship team, Davey compiled a collegiate career record of 13-8 with a 3.33 ERA with a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. His last start was a 12-inning complete game in the NE10 Conference Playoff game. However, his most memorable moment is perhaps a game he won that gave legendary and former St. Rose Coach Bob Bellizzi his 700th victory. He's hoping he can add a new favorite moment to that list when the Dutchmen start play the first weekend of June.
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