Four Baseball Teams Head Into Championship Week
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- The America East Baseball Regular Season concluded on Saturday and four teams will continue their seasons this week at the 2012 America East Baseball Championship which gets underway on Wednesday, May 23. Stony Brook University, which clinched its second straight regular season championship last week, will host the four-team, double-elimination tournament at Joe Nathan Field on Long Island as the tournament's top seed.
Second-seeded Albany, third-seeded Binghamton and fourth-seeded Maine will join the Seawolves as all four teams compete for the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament where the America East Champion has gone on to eliminate an opponent in each of the past three seasons.
The Great Danes and Bearcats will kick off the tournament on Wednesday at 11 a.m. The regular-season champions and defending tournament champions will face off against one another in the nightcap when Stony Brook and Maine play at 3 p.m.
Stony Brook (43-11, 21-3 AE) has won two America East tournament crowns since 2009 and three overall. The Seawolves will attempt to become the first tournament host to win the championship since Binghamton in 2009 and avenge last year's early round loss on their home field. Stony Brook, who as a team leads the league in batting average, earned run average and fielding percentage, set a single-season program record for wins in a season after ending the season with a four-game sweep at Maine.
The Black Bears (26-26, 11-11 AE) are the reigning champions after going 3-0 at last year's
tournament, but Maine will have to defend its title at this year's
championship as the four seed if it wants to win the program's sixth crown. Last year's Most Outstanding Player shortstop Michael Fransoso enters the week batting .324 with team highs of 67 hits, 107 total bases and four triples.
Albany (22-30-1, 16-8 AE), which completed the regular season with its highest finish since it also finished second in 2009, has a streak of three straight championship game appearances. The Great Danes won the 2007 title and will be hoping for their second-ever America East Championship title this week. They concluded the regular season by taking two of three from Hartford at home, including a 24-2 victory Saturday.
Binghamton (22-24, 13-9 AE) swept a three-game series at UMBC this weekend to take the three seed into this week's championship. Like the Danes, the Bearcats will also be looking for their second America East Championship trophy after winning their first in 2009.
The Championship continues Thursday and Friday, with Saturday serving as an if necessary date. Follow the action at Championship Central for news, stats and highlights throughout the tournament.
2012 America East Baseball Championship
All games hosted by Stony Brook University, Joe Nathan Field
Wednesday, May 23
Game 1: #2 Albany (home team) vs. #3 Binghamton, 11 a.m.
Game 2: #1 Stony Brook (home team) vs. #4 Maine, 3 p.m.
Thursday, May 24
Game 3: Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2 (elimination game), 11 a.m.
Game 4: Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 3 p.m.
Friday, May 25
Game 5: Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4 (elimination game), 11 a.m.
Game 6: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 (championship game), 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
Game 7: Winner of Game 5 vs. Winner of Game 4 (championship game, if necessary), noon