Bryant

America East Baseball News & Notes Bryant Wins Regular Season

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For the first time since joining the America East Conference, the Bryant University Bulldogs are regular-season champions. They took care of this over the weekend when they took two of three on the road in Maine. The Bulldogs are one of four teams that have secured a spot in the postseason tournament that will take place in Binghamton starting on May 22. UMass Lowell, NJIT, and UMBC are the other schools that are in.

However, only Bryant knows where they will be seeded when the tournament begins. For everyone else, scoreboard-watching will be a requirement as the last weekend of conference baseball gets started. The most interesting section of the league standings is at the bottom. With one game separating the bottom four teams. The team that may do the most scoreboard-watching is the River Hawks (22-27, 11-12) because their league schedule came to an end last weekend at home losing two of three to the Highlanders. With that series loss, NJIT moves into third place in the league while UMass Lowell drops to fourth.

So here is how that last weekend could play out. UMBC (23-22, 12-9) finishing their season at home vs Bryant (31-17, 16-5) could have been quite a season-ending three-game series. But with the Bulldogs clinching the title last weekend, what could have been does not look like it will happen, at least for Bryant. This series is still important for UMBC because they are just a game ahead of NJIT in the loss column for second place. This is important because the top two teams get byes into the quarterfinals. 

The Highlanders (21-25, 10-10) finished their season at home vs the Bearcats (20-26, 9-12). A series that has a lot riding on it. For the Highlanders, winning this series and getting some help from the Bulldogs could get them a bye into the quarterfinals. A loss in this series could land NJIT anywhere toward the bottom of the league. For the Bearcats, this is a series they must have. Their margin of error is slim and a loss in this series could find them out of the postseason tournament. Which would be a shame since the Bearcats are the host school for the event for the second straight year. This will be the second time the two teams have met this year. Back in the middle of March, they played in Binghamton with the Bearcats taking two of three. 

Another big series has Maine (11-35, 7-13) vs UAlbany (13-32, 8-12). For the Black Bears, it has been a rough season for the defending champs of the regular season and postseason. Injuries have been an issue that the team has not been able to overcome. This will be a home series, and the second time the two schools have met. The last time they played was Easter weekend at UAlbany with the Great Danes losing two of three. The Great Danes come into this series having been swept in non-league baseball by Manhattan. It has been a tale of two seasons for UAlbany as a rough beginning has turned into a better second half of the year. The caveat to this series is the loser of this weekend could find themselves out of this year’s postseason tournament.    

For UMass Lowell, they will have three non-conference games to play. On Tuesday afternoon they host maybe the best team in New England, the Northeastern Huskies. Then on Thursday, a doubleheader is scheduled with Marist. 

The AE Player of the Week is junior second baseman Nick Roselli of Binghamton. Last weekend vs UMBC, Roselli hit .615 while slugging 1.462. He had a .706 on-base percentage and hit a HR in each of the three games played. On Sunday, Roselli went 4-for-5 with a walk-off HR in the 13th inning. This is Roselli’s first award of the season. 

The AE Pitcher of the Week is UMBC junior right-hander Luke Johnson. On Friday night, Johnson went 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and an earned run in a 4-3 victory. Johnson struck out eight and walked four Bearcats batters. For Johnson, this is his second weekly award.

The AE Rookie of the Week is Jackson Mitchell of Binghamton. In a pair of appearances out of the Bearcats bullpen. Mitchell posted an ERA of 0.00. He allowed two hits, struck out six, and had a pair of walks. He was big on Sunday, pitching the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings, striking out six and giving up two hits. His performance kept the game tied at 3-3. 

Next week we look ahead to the America East Baseball Tournament at Binghamton University. 

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