BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – The age-old adage, "Being in the right place, at the right time" served former Quinnipiac baseball stand-out Joe Poletsky well. The former All-Northeast Conference pick made an appearance with the Atlantic League's Bridgeport Bluefish last week. Poletsky is the latest of more than 20 players all-time at Quinnipiac to play professional baseball.
Poletsky was "called-up", literally, by the Bluefish on June 8. The Riverside, Conn. native received a phone call while at work and was asked to fill a roster spot for Bridgeport's game against Lancaster. That afternoon, Poletsky made his professional debut. He has since been called up, and will play for Bridgeport on June 15-18 for the Bluefish's series against Lancaster.
"I was really surprised when I got the call," Poletsky explained. "I was at work when Alberto Martinez, the Player Development Coordinator for the Bluefish, called me. I actually missed his call three times because I was outside, away from my phone. When I got to the Bridgeport facility, I was told I probably wasn't going to play that day, and I was really there 'just in case'."
Poletsky's number was called midway through the game when Bluefish second baseman Elliot Ayala was injured making a play. An all-NEC third baseman for the Bobcats, the 5-11, 185 lbs. Poletsky was sent to the opposite side of the infield.
"I think it was the 5th inning when the second baseman got hurt making a play and I had to go in the game in the middle of the inning," Poletsky said. "And, because baseball just works this way, the first batter I saw hit a double-play ball right at me!"
Poletsky made his first plate appearance in the sixth inning, and then hit again in the eighth, grounding out both times. He would get the start at second on June 9 against Lancaster. Despite an 0-for-3 day, Poletsky reached base twice.
"I'm still looking for my first professional hit," Poletsky said jokingly."But other than that I had a great time. I knew it was going to be short, so I just wanted to make the most of it. It was a great opportunity and hopefully it will open doors for me in the future."
Poletsky had an outstanding career at Quinnipiac, earning All-Northeast Conference Second Team honors as a junior in 2009 before completing his career in 2010. For his career, Poletsky's 179 hits rank 14th all-time and 12th at the Division I level, while his 34 doubles rank 16th all-time and 12th at the Division I level. He also finished his career as the 14th player all-time and ninth at the Division I level to drive-in 100 runs.
Poletsky is also one of 17 players in Quinnipiac history to reach the 60-hit mark, totaling 62 as a junior. As a sophomore, Poletsky reached career-highs in home runs (4) and slugging percentage (.439) while as a junior, he totaled 62 hits, 31 runs scored, 14 doubles and 38 RBI.
Poletsky joins former Quinnipiac baseball players Pat Egan '07 and Chris Gloor '10 as former Bobcats in the professional ranks. Egan is currently pitching for the Eastern League's Bowie (Md.) Baysox, the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. Gloor is also pitching in the Eastern League, for the Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels, the affiliate of the San Francisco Giants organization. In addition to Egan, Gloor and now Poletsky, Quinnipiac has produced more than 20 professional baseball players since 1968, including former Major League Baseball reliever Turk Wendell. In addition to Wendell, Egan, Gloor and now Poletsky, Randy Gress '07, Wilson Matos '07, Tim Binkoski '07, Kevin MacIlvane '06, Bryan Sabatella '05, Ari Kafka '05, Buddy Bengel '04, Jeff Carlson '98, Tim Belcher '97, Steve Kulpa '93, Doug Bond '88, Dominick Rovasio '88, Brian Landy '88, Frank Trasacco '84, Bob Bruzik '83, Greg Burtt '79, William Martin '79, Ralph Russo '74 and Dan Ford '68 all played professionally.
Contact: Ken Sweeten, email@example.com