There was plenty of high drama on display on the final weekend of play in America East baseball. The center of the action was in two places, Lowell and Maine. That’s because the second-place spot in Division A was up for grabs and these two schools were playing for it. On Friday, it looked like the River Hawks were about to wrap up that spot. With their doubleheader wins over Hartford combined with the Black Bears losing two to Albany, things were looking pretty good for Lowell. They needed one win on Saturday to clinch the second spot and move on to the America East Tournament. The River Hawks ran into trouble with Hartford. Meanwhile, the Black Bears had to win both of their games on Saturday vs Albany to have any chance of keeping their season alive.
Down 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh of game one against the Great Danes, Maine had to stage a comeback to make game two worthwhile. That is exactly what they did, with Connor Goodman becoming the hero of game one when he delivered a two-strike two-out base hit that scored both the tying and the winning runs to allow the Black Bears to walk off with game one 6-5. The River Hawks, on the other hand, were having problems with Hartford sophomore right-handed pitcher Tim Blaisdell who was throwing a three-hit, one walk, nine-strikeout gem against Lowell. The complete game performance resulted in a 3-0 game one victory for the Hawks. It set up a win-or-go-home game two on both sites.
Maine did their part by winning game two 6-2 over Albany. Lowell on the other hand kept struggling. They gave up three runs in the very first inning, then saw the lead increase to 6-0 by the fifth. They battled back by scoring four in the fifth to make the folks in Maine a little nervous. Hartford then added a run in the seventh to take the twin-bill by a 7-4 score in game two. There were happy humans in Maine, sad faces in Lowell. The Black Bears are off to Stony Brook and will face the Seawolves on Thursday Morning at 11 AM. Then NJIT, the hottest team in the league with a seven-game winning streak, will meet Albany at 2:30 in the afternoon.
The final weekly awards go like this. The Player of the week is Jared Donnelly of NJIT. In his team’s four-game sweep of UMBC, Donnelly had a slash line of .636/.714/ 1.000. He had four doubles, drove in five runs, and scored three times while playing a solid third base. This is Donnelly’s first career weekly award.
The Pitcher of the week is freshman Tyler Nelsen of Maine. He threw six shutout innings in game two on Saturday allowing three hits, fanning five, and not issuing a free pass.
This is Nelsen’s first career weekly award.
The Rookie of the week is Evan Fox of Stony Brook. He went three-for-six in a couple of wins for the Seawolves last weekend, drove in four runs, and crossed the plate three times. For Fox, this is his third weekly award, The most of any first-year player in the league.
Enjoy the tournament, it should be fun.
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