AMSTERDAM, N.Y. – The Amsterdam Mohawks should have no shortage of power coming from their first baseman in 2012. General manager Brian Spagnola has signed UAlbany’s cleanup hitter Josh Nethaway (Fonda-Fultonville/UAlbany) and Marshall’s three hitter Nathan Gomez to man first base for the Mohawks this summer.
Former Fonda-Fultonville multi-sport star Josh Nethaway is one of four players returning from the 2011 Mohawks. Last year’s team won 33 games overall and competed in the PGCBL Championship Series against the Newark Pilots. Nethaway spent last summer in the Amsterdam outfield and at designated hitter before an injury cut his season short. Through 35 games, he batted .314 with two home runs and 26 RBI. Nethaway was first on the team in doubles (10) and RBI at the time of his injury. He swatted his first home run of the summer at historic Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. The following night at Shuttleworth Park, Josh belted a three-run blast and drove in four runs against Elmira. Following the completion of the season, Nethaway was named to the PGCBL Rising Stars Team.
This spring, the UAlbany redshirt sophomore has been the starting first baseman for the Great Danes of the America East conference. Heading into the final full week of April, Nethaway was batting .318 with two home runs and 18 RBI. He was one of four Great Danes hitting over .300. Over the last two seasons, Josh has slammed five home runs, driven in 54 runs and smashed 22 doubles. Defensively he has been nearly flawless at first base this spring. He leads all UAlbany infielders with a .995 fielding percentage. Josh has made just one error in 209 total chances
Marshall University’s Nathan Gomez is a junior from Miami, Fla. He is the starting first baseman for the Thundering Herd, members of the highly-competitive Conference USA. Gomez is having a career year at the plate. He currently leads the Herd in batting average (.317), runs batted in (32), hits (51), doubles (13), slugging percentage (.453) and sacrifice flies (three) – all numbers being career highs. The junior has smashed three home runs and he has scored 25 runs in 42 games played. From Feb. 18 through Mar. 3, Gomez reeled off an eight-game hitting streak, the second-longest streak for any Marshall batter this season. He recorded three hits each in back-to-back games against Charleston Southern and drove in a season-high four runs versus the Bucs on Feb. 26. He completed the hitting streak with clouts in back-to-back games against Eastern Michigan.
The 6-foot-3, left-handed swinger is a three-year starter for Marshall and has been in the starting line-up at first base, left field and designated hitter. Over three seasons in Huntington, Nathan has blasted seven home runs, collected 71 RBI and smashed 29 doubles. His older brother, Victor, is Marshall’s all-time leader in home runs (52) and runs batted in (211). Victor graduated from Marshall in 2011 and he is currently in the Atlanta Braves farm system. Prior to attending Marshall, Nathan was a four-year starter at Miami’s Immaculata-LaSalle High School. He earned All-Miami-Dade County honorable mention from the Miami Herald on three occasions (2006, 2007, 2009) and still holds several school records.
NOTES: Marshall University head coach Jeff Waggoner was an assistant coach at the College of Saint Rose under Bob Bellizzi and alongside Brian Spagnola in 2000. Waggoner spent two seasons with the Schenectady Mohawks as an assistant coach (1999, 2000). He worked under head coach Dennis Healy – the current pitching coach at Wake Forest…Several former members of the Thundering Herd have played for the Mohawks including infielder/outfielder Nate Lape (2007) and pitcher Brian Mooney (2008)…Current UAlbany assistant coach Drew Pearce was an assistant coach for the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2007 and worked for head coach Chris Smart…Josh Nethaway will not be the only Great Dane on the Amsterdam roster in 2012. The Mohawks have also added 6-foot-6 UAlbany sophomore pitcher Kevin Archbold from Long Island.