Baseball starts conference play on Saturday.
America East Baseball Conference Play Starts Saturday
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The first of 10 weekends of America East Conference baseball action begins on Saturday with six teams taking the field, including the top-two teams in the coaches' preseason poll squaring off to open the league season.
Maine (9-11) at Stony Brook (4-10)
Sat., March 16, 3 p.m. - AJ Bazdanes (Maine) 2-1, 3.51 ERA vs. Frankie Vanderka (Stony Brook), 1-2 2.28 ERA
Sun., March 17, 12 p.m. - TBA (Maine) vs. Daniel Zamora (Stony Brook) 0-3, 6.16 ERA
Reigning champion Stony Brook is off to a slow start after playing a difficult early season schedule, but has won four of five after losing its first nine games. Frankie Vanderka is coming off a no-hitter in his last outing and is probable to start game two of the series.
Maine has already play 19 non-conference games, going 9-10 in the early stages. The Black Bears are first in the conference in hitting with a .286 team batting average and first in team ERA at 4.03. Maine has been the most active team on the basepaths, with 34 steals on 44 attempts this season.
Albany enters the weekend coming off a doubleheader sweep of NYIT at the beginning of the week. The Great Danes are third in the conference in batting, hitting .230 as a team and scoring 35 runs through 10 games.
Hartford is in search of its first win of the year this weekend. Freshman Chris DelDebbio has been impressive in his rookie campaign, batting .341 which ranks seventh in the league.
Binghamton (8-4) at UMBC (2-5)
Sat. March 16, 6:30 p.m. -
Rogalla (Binghamton) 2-0, 2.81 vs. Bobby Applegate (UMBC) 1-1, 3.75 ERA
Sun. March 17, 1 p.m. - Jay Lynch (Binghamton) 1-1, 5.02 ERA vs. TBA (UMBC)
Binghamton is off to the best start in the America East with an 8-4 mark. The Bearcats are second in the conference in both hitting (.284 team batting average) and pitching (4.73 team ERA). Binghamton also leads the conference with a .968 fielding percentage, committing only 13 errors on the year. Binghamton also boasts the league's leading hitter in Jake Thomas, who is batting .410 with 14 RBI entering conference play.
UMBC has played the fewest games of any team in the conference, entering the weekend with a 2-5 record against a difficult non-conference schedule/. The Retrievers have one of the top starters in the conference, as Mac Gill takes the ball in game one with a 2.19 ERA, the best in the league for starters. UMBC also has one of the best relievers in Mike Gomez who has two saves and has struck out seven batters in eight innings with a 1.12 ERA.