Binghamton Wins 2nd-Straight #AEBASE Title
LOWELL, Mass. - Freshman Eddie Posavec hit a walk-off single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 12th inning, sending the third-seeded Binghamton University Bearcats to their second-straight America East Baseball Championship title, 8-7, over No. 1 Stony Brook on Sunday afternoon at LeLacheur Park.
The Bearcats are the first team to win back-to-back tournament titles since Maine did so in 2005 and 2006. They are the second team in conference history to capture the tournament crown after losing their opening round game, joining the 2002 Maine Black Bears. Binghamton earns the conference's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA tournament and will find out who they will play during the selection show on Monday at noon on ESPNU.
In the longest America East title game in conference history, the Bearcats got an impressive performance out of the bullpen from Anthony Grillini who shut the Seawolves out of 5.2 innings, scattering four hits and walking just one. Reed Gamache had five hits and Shaun McGraw totaled four to pace a 21-hit attack from the Bearcats' offense.
Stony Brook received a gutsy performance out of the bullpen from freshman Cameron Stone, who had his longest outing of the season, throwing 114 pitches in 5.1 innings. Stone took the loss, allowing three runs on eight hits. Frankie Vanderka started the game on short rest, but was taken out after allowing four runs over the first two inning. Tim Knesnik was outstanding in the middle innings, holding binghamton to one run on three hits.
After the teams traded runs in the first inning, Binghamton put together a two-out rally in the second. With runners at the corners and two outs, Zach Blanden laced a single just past the dive of third baseman Johnny Caputo to score Gamache from second. Bill Bereszniewicz and Daniel Nevares followed with singles to plate two more runs and give Binghamton a 4-1 lead.
The Seawolves slowly chopped away at the three-run deficit. The first run came in the fourth when Casey Baker came home on a grounder by Anthony Italiano that was mishandled by Gamache at third, making it 4-2.
Stony Brook scratched another run across in the fifth, this time with Kevin Krause lacing a single that scored Jack Parenty from second. Krause finished the tournament with five RBI.
The Seawolves finished the comeback in the sixth, as Caputo doubled with the bases empty and two outs and came around to score on a Joshua Mason single. It was the second-straight day Mason had a two-out, game-tying single in the late innings.
The top seed took the lead in the seventh, scoring three times off Jake Cryts, who came out of the bullpen for the Bearcats. After Krause and Kevin Courtney singled to start the inning, Peragine singled to score Krause and make it 5-4. Baker drove in the next run with a single, and a bloop plated Peragine to give the Seawolves a 7-4 advantage.
Binghamton got one back in the seventh, setting the stage for some heroics from Gamache. The third baseman ripped a two-out, two-run single, his fifth hit of the game, up the middle to score McGraw and Jake Thomas and tie the game at seven.
Neither team scored in the ninth to put the title game in extra innings for the first time since 2005.
Stone and Grillini matched zeroes in the 10th and 11th innings, with both pitchers working out of jams.
McGraw, the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament, led off the bottom of the inning with a single. After Stone made a nice play on a bunt to erase McGraw at second, Skidmore singled and Howell walked to load the bases with one out.
With the outfield playing shallow, Posavec hit a deep fly ball into the left field gap that scored Gamache and gave Binghamton the, 8-7, victory.
McGraw was joined on the All-Tournament team by Greg Ostner, Grillini and Posavec. Joshua Mason, Anthony Italiano and Casey Baker all earned selected from Stony Brook. Maine's Scott Heath, Hartford's David MacKinnon and Sean Newcomb rounded out the team.
It was the third overall title for Binghamton. The Seawolves and Bearcats have combined to win six of the last seven America East crowns.
Scott Heath, Maine
Sean Newcomb, Hartford
David MacKinnon, Hartford
Joshua Mason, Stony Brook
Anthony Italiano, Stony Brook
Casey Baker, Stony Brook
Greg Ostner, Binghamton
Anthony Grillini, Binghamton
Eddie Posavec, Binghamton
Shaun McGraw, Binghamton - MOP