While the actual start of the America East conference schedule is still more than a week away, teams are hard at work during there non-conference portions. They are about to get ready for what’s ahead. It should be a fun-filled spring in league play, as the road to the America East baseball playoffs will head to Lowell, MA. on May 20-23. Here is a look at what has already taken place on the diamond.
The Albany Great Dames showed off some pretty good pitching in sweeping past Norfolk State. They continued their good play this past weekend taking two-of-three from Manhattan outscoring the Jasper 16-12 in the three-game set. Alex Thul had a three-hit game in the opener of the series, while relief pitcher Kenny Mclean picked up his third win of the season in the finale on Sunday. He did that by going 3.1 innings of two-hit, four-strikeout baseball. Albany, at 7-5 finds themselves in second place in the early going of the season. Josh Gurmack leads the team in hitting through twelve games at .385 (5-for-13). On the hill, Cregg Scherrer is off to a good start at 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA in four starts. He leads the conference in Innings pitched so far. They have also been playing solid defense behind their staff. With three players, Dolan Ocasal, Chris Fisher, and Matt Soloman all with perfect fielding percentages in the first twelve games.
The Hartford Hawks have an ace they can call their own and is name is Nicholas Dombkowski. He is off to a 3-0, 0.90 ERA start on the young year. He already has a shutout to his credit. In twenty innings of work, Nicholas has only allowed seven hits and two earned runs. He has the same number of strikeouts as innings pitched (20). One of those earned runs allowed was on a solo home run. He was named Pitcher of the Week this season back on Feb.25. He leads the league in ERA, Wins, and Opposing Batting Average. The Hawks, at 6-4, have the best team ERA through ten games at 3.63 and are second in team batting at .260 with seven home runs. Kyle Hawes is hitting .500 in limited duty, 5-for-10, with four runs scored.
Although the UMass Lowell River Hawks are off a bit of a rough spot of late, having lost five in a row, and stand at 4-9. They do have some arms that can get people out when called upon. Joshua Becker is at the top of that list. He leads the league in saves with three and is second in opposing batting average, hits allowed and runs allowed. In eleven innings of work, he has given up nine hits and five earned runs while striking out eighteen and walking four. Becker is one of the best closers in the league and the River Hawks need to get him the ball late in games as often as possible.
Binghamton’s Alex Baratta is second in batting .455, third in slugging at .568, fourth in both on-base percentages at .528 and in runs scored with nine. He leads in hits with 20, and in runs batted in with eleven. The batting average has him second in the league at the moment. Binghamton is 5-7, however, they have won their last four ballgames. They are #1 in batting in the conference at .287 with 30 extra-base hits. In 407 at-bats, they have hit into only five double plays.
Stony Brook has the second-best pitching staff ERA in the league at 3.85. Sam Turcotte is one reason why. He is second in ERA, second in batters struck out and second in batters struck out looking, He has been a bit wild at times having thrown four wild pitches and hitting three batters. Keeping hitters honest at the plate can be helpful to a pitcher and that pitching is going to have to keep doing more than their share of the workload since the offense is struggling hitting only .194 as a team.
That’s it for this week. See you next week for more America East Baseball News.