Protecting your home field is a must if a successful season is to be had. Last weekend in America East, that is exactly what the home teams did. Although there were no series sweeps from any of the home teams, each one did win their series. This includes a battle of divisional leaders in Maine. Let’s look back at the weekend that was in America East.
The Binghamton Bearcats (4-8) got back into the thick of the race in Division B with a series win over Hartford. It was a must for a team that finds themselves in last place in the division heading into the weekend. They still have a bit of a mountain to climb as they are four games back in the loss column of NJIT and three games back of UMBC. In what was a battle of two teams in the basement of their division, the Bearcats came out on top of the Hartford Hawks (3-9). The opener of the series on Friday night was a back and forth game that would need extra innings to decide it. The Bearcats raced out to a 6-2 lead after six. But the Hawks answered with a five-run seventh highlighted by a Tremayne Cobb JR bases-clearing double that gave the Hawks the lead at 7-6. Cobb had a big night of 4-for-5, with five RBI. Binghamton retook the lead with two in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-7. Hartford tied the game when with runners at second and third, Donnie Cohoon laid down a bunt that scored the tying run to knot things at 8-8. Binghamton won in walk-off style as Nick Rosseill singled to left field to bring home the game-winning run. Binghamton took game one 9-8. Saturday’s game two was also won by Bearcats as the 9-2 win featured a 13 hit attack that was supplied by the top-five members of the batting order. They went 12-for-25, with Rosehill (4-5, 1 RBI) and leadoff man and Player of the Week Cavan Tully (3-5, 3 RBI) leading the way. Sunday’s game three was a pitching duel that was won by the Hawks 2-1 as Rudy Dee and Manny Corporan combined on a four-hit one-run effort.
Hartford heads to Lowell to face the River Hawks (5-7) who won their second America East home series as they took two of three from UMBC (5-7). One of the best college baseball games you will ever see took place at LeLacheur Park on Friday night. LJ Keevan of Lowell and Luke Johnson staged quite a pitching duel. Both pitchers went seven scoreless innings. UMBC broke the tie with a run in the top of the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to Ian Diaz. The River Hawks answered with two in the bottom of the eighth. An RBI single by Rookie of the Week Jacob Humphrey tied the game at 1-1. Gerry Siracusa broke the tie with an RBI groundout to give Lowell the lead at 2-1. Joshua Becker recorded his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth. On Saturday, Lowell had a 7-3 lead going into the ninth but UMBC made things interesting by putting a couple of base runners in front of DH Logan Doran. He took Lowell’s reliever Zach Fortuna over the wall in left for a 3-run HR to make it a 7-6 game. Matt Draper came on to quiet things down and send the River Hawks fans home happy by picking up his second save of the season, 7-6 Lowell. For all the world it looked like Lowell was on the verge of a sweep as they had a four-run lead at 6-2 heading to the eighth on Sunday. Hayden Duke ran into all sorts of problems out of the Lowell bullpen and by the time he was replaced, he had given up the lead. UMBC would take game three in ten innings 9-6.
In a battle of division leaders, Maine (9-3) took two of three from NJIT (8-4) with two of the three games being one-run affairs. The Highlanders took game one 4-3 behind some outstanding work out of the bullpen by Evan Gegechas who came into the game in the sixth with his team up 4-3. He pitched four innings of hitless shutout baseball to record his first save of the season in support of Ryan Fischer (5-2) to win Friday night 4-3. Maine took the next two games by outscoring NJIT 20-14. They won on Saturday by a score of 13-8 as eight of the nine hitters in the lineup had at least one hit. Connor Goodman had a big day (3-4, 5 RBI). Highlanders relief pitcher, Jake Rappaport, suffered a rough outing with five hits, and five earned runs in two innings. Sunday’s game found the Black Bears down to their last at-bat down 6-5. Rappaport (0-3 ) once again was called on to protect the lead, however, the Black Bear bats got to him once more. Rappaport would give up a double to Quinn McDaniel that brought home the tying and winning runs to give Maine a walk-off 7-6 victory.
One player that is having a great spring season is UMBC second baseman, Myles Nicholson. He leads the league in batting with a .420 average on-base at .500, hits with 50, and triples with four. He is tied in runs scored with 35, stolen bases with 21. and is second in at-bats with 119. The grad student is possibly putting himself on the radar when it comes to MLB scouts. Another guy could be Joshua Becker of UMass Lowell. He has a 3-3 record with a 4.53 ERA, with two saves in 45.2 IP. He has given up 23 ER, and has 49 SO, 14 BB, and 56H. What makes Becker interesting is his ability to close and start games. Though both of these guys made not be draft picks come July, don”t be surprised if they get signed after the process is over
The America East Player and Pitcher of the Week come from the same team. Cavan Tully of Binghamton is your player of the week. In four games last week his slash line was .563/.650/.813. In the weekend series vs Hartford Tully went 7-for-12, .583 with 2 XBH, 4 RBI, 3 RS. This is his first weekly award. His teammate, Gabe Driscoll, is the Pitcher of the Week. In Saturday’s Game vs Hartford, Driscoll went eight innings and allowed two hits, two runs, and struck out 15 Hartford batters. The 15-K’s tied for the fifth-most in division one this spring. It is one strikeout shy of a conference record. This is Driscoll’s first weekly award.
For the second straight week, Jacob Humphrey of UMass Lowell is the America East Rookie of the Week. He slashed .533/.579/..600 in a 3-1 week for the River Hawks. In the series vs UMBC Humphrey went 6-for-11, with 5 RBI. He had seven RBI for the week. His 19 walks lead the team and he is a perfect 18-for18 in stolen bases while playing a solid right field for UMass Lowell.
We will be back next week with more from America East baseball.
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