CAMBRIDGE, Mass.-- Vermont sophomore outfielder Justin Milo (Edina, Minn./Edina/Cornell) was honored with the America East Baseball Player of the Week after his timely hitting lifted the Catamounts to a playoff position in the final weekend of the regular season. Also for the final week ending May 17, Binghamton senior righty Zach Groh (Reading, Pa./The Perkiomen School) and freshman centerfielder Corey Taylor (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) received the pitcher and rookie of the week accolades, respectively. The Bearcats earned the top seed in the 2008 America East Baseball Championship May 22-24 at Farmingdale State College. Click here for full PDF Weekly Release.
Milo had just three hits (.300 ba) in UVM’s three-game series at Hartford but two of them produced game-winning RBI to propel the Catamounts into the conference tournament. His two-out, RBI single plated the gamewinner in the fifth inning of Vermont’s come-from-behind 3-2 win over the Hawks in Saturday’s first game, while his two-run homer in the first inning of Saturday’s nightcap was all the Cats needed for a 3-1 victory. Milo slugged .600 and reached base at a .417 clip for the week. He also drove in three runs total and scored two more on his own during the must-win series.
Groh earned his fifth win of the season for top-seeded Binghamton after allowing no earned runs in seven innings against Maine. He scattered six hits, five singles and one double, in the outing and struck out seven to boost his season total to 69. Groh walked just one batter in the effort and remained undefeated against conference opponents with a 3.07 ERA. This is his second such award of the season, also garnering the season’s first weekly pitching accolade.
Taylor continued his mastery of America East pitching with six hits in three games against Maine. He batted .500 while drawing a walk, driving in two runs and crossing the plate for three more runs. Taylor finished his first conference season with a .418 average (28-for-67), tops in the league. The rookie has hit safely in eight straight games and 10 of his last 11 games, recording 12 RBI in that span. This is the second straight week Taylor as earned the conference’s rookie award.
Albany (17-37-1 overall record, 10-14 in America East) closed out its season by going 3-1 against Stony Brook last week... The Great Danes opened the week with a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Seawolves on Thursday, May 15 at Varsity Field... After falling behind 4-0, scored twice in the third and four times in the seventh... Brendan Rowland (Albany, N.Y./Colonie) recorded a two-run triple in the third and drilled a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Great Danes a lead... Josh Willimott (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) earned his sixth victory by tossing seven innings and striking out two... On Friday, the Great Danes split a doubleheader, falling 7-2 in the opener and taking game two, 4-2... The Seawolves took a 1-0 lead into the fifth inning before scoring three runs in the fifth and sixth innings for the victory... In the nightcap, UAlbany scored twice in the third to take a 2-1 lead... Junior Gary Pitcheralle (Mechanicville, N.Y./Mechanicville/Alfred State) drove in the first run with a double down the left field line to score Pete Eichner (Pine Bush, N.Y./Pine Bush)... Rowland drove in Pitcheralle with a sac fly for the lead... Eichner put the Great Danes ahead with a two-run single to drive in Jamie Liebowitz (Queens, N.Y./Cardoza) and Kyle Crean (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place)... Freshman David Kubiak (Southold, N.Y./Southold) registered his fourth consecutive win by pitching a complete-game five-hitter and striking out four... In the series finale, the Great Danes rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 9-6 victory... Crean tied the contest at five with a single down the right field line to drive in Eichner... Rowland gave UAlbany a 6-5 lead with a bases-loaded single up the third-base line.
Binghamton (27-25, 15-8 AE) won two of three games against Maine to capture its second consecutive regular season title. The Bearcats, who have won 20 of their last 26 games, will carry the No. 1 seed into the America East Championship... After dropping four straight games to Stony Brook to open the conference slate, Binghamton went 15-4 the rest of the way. The Bearcats finished their home slate with an 11-3 record... BU hit .358 in the Maine series and led the league in batting with a .324 mark in 23 conference games... Freshman center fielder Corey Taylor (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) continued his mastery of America East pitching with six hits in three games against Maine. He finished his first conference season with a .418 average (28-for-67) – tops in the America East. Taylor has hit safely in eight straight games in 10 of his last 11 games, and has 12 RBI in that span... Junior shortstop Kyle Klee (Rochester, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit) drove in seven runs in three games against Maine. He hit a three-run home run and drove in four in the opener and collected three more RBI in the doubleheader split. Klee has driven in runs in five straight games and seven of his last eight... Senior righty Zach Groh (Reading, Pa./The Perkiomen School) earned his fifth win of the season after allowing no earned runs in seven innings against Maine. He struck out seven, boosting his season total to 69. Groh is undefeated against conference opponents with a 3.07 ERA... Binghamton will be making its third America East tournament appearance in the last four years. The Bearcats went 0-2 at the 2005 tournament and went 2-2 to finish runnerup at last spring's championship.
The Hawks (18-31, 10-13 AE) fell short of qualifying for their first America East Championship since the 1996 season, dropping two-of-three against the Vermont Catamounts. The Hawks opened their four-game series against Vermont with a 2-0 complete game shutout from Weston Szymanski on Thursday afternoon. The Hawks then dropped both games of Saturday’s doubleheader, which allowed Vermont to clinch the final spot in the tournament. Hartford closes out the season in fifth place overall in the America East. Szymanski faced just three batters over the minimum in the series opener, allowing only four hits and striking out two batters. In the opening game of the doubleheader, the Hawks trailed heading into the bottom of the seventh inning but had runners on first and second with no outs. Both were then thrown out at the plate on a deep double to right field, deflating the Hawks hopes of a postseason. Hartford dropped the doubleheader by scores of 3-2 and 3-1, ending their season. In the doubleheader, the Hawks were led by Mike Amendola and Simon Kudernatsch. Amendola finished the first game 4-for-4 at the plate, while Kudernatsch provided the only offense for Hartford in the second game, a solo home run. For the season, Amendola led the team with a .331 batting average, and finished second on the team with 54 hits. Ben Sobocinski finished first on the team with 57 hits, and second with a .306 batting average. Chris Greiner led the Hawks starting pitchers with a 3.65 ERA. He started nine games and finished with a 6-1 overall record. Szymanski was second on the team among the starters, finished with a 4.79 ERA in 13 appearances, 11 of which were starts. Justin DiConzo led the relief pitchers with a 4.50 ERA in 10 appearances, pitching 12 innings.
The University of Maine (20-28-1, 8-15 AE) went 1-2 on the week at top-ranked Binghamton... Curt Smith (Wilemstad, Curacao), one of the top players in Maine history, saw his outstanding career come to an end on Saturday at Binghamton... Smith, however, went out in fitting fashion... He needed seven hits on the weekend to reach 300 and got the hit on Saturday in the second game... Smith finished his career with 300 career hits... He is just the second player in Maine history to reach the 300-hit plateau, joining former standout Mark Sweeney (1988-91)... Smith finished the season with a .403 batting average, the highest since Jon Hambelton hit .429 in 2001... He is just the 15th player in Maine history to hit .403 or higher in a season... Smith finishes ranked first all-time in triples (19), second all-time in hits (300), tied for third in all-time RBI (178), third in all-time doubles (60) and stole 50 career bases... He scored 199 career runs... He finishes his career with a .371 batting average... He played 211 career games, missing just three games the past four years... Senior Mark Ostrander (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton) had a final game to remember as he belted a grand slam at Binghamton, which put the Black Bear ahead in the game... It was his fifth home run of the season.... Rookie pitcher Kevin Scanlan (Sudbury, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury) finished the season with 72 strikeouts, the most since Steve Richard fanned 90 in 2005.
UMBC (21-27, 13-11 AE) did not compete last week, but will enter the conference tournament as the three seed after being picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches' poll. The Retrievers will face host Stony Brook on Thursday, May 22 at 7:05 p.m.
The Seawolves (31-24, 14-10 AE) went 2-3 on the week, defeating Seton Hall before dropping three of four to Albany over the weekend ... The Seawolves won 31 regular season games for the second straight season ... Junior Brian Witkowski led the team in batting average (.364), runs scored (54), hits (64), doubles (14) and was second with nine home runs ... Freshman Robert Inzerillo scored the winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Stony Brook University baseball team to an 8-7 victory over the Seton Hall Pirates on Tuesday afternoon, the Seawolves second straight victory over the Pirates ... Senior Gary Novakowski hurled a complete-game five hitter in the Seawolves 7-2 victory over Albany on Friday and led SBU with four complete games on the season ... Novakowski, senior Tom Koehler and sophomore Jeremy Nowak each posted a team-high six victories ... Sophomore Mike Stephan finished the regular season leading Stony Brook in home runs (10) and on-base percentage (.538) ... Sophomore Rob Dyer hit .533 with nine RBI in five games this week ... SBU is 21-0 when leading after eight innings.
Vermont (26-22, 12-11 AE) won two of three at Hartford to earn a bid to the 2008 America East Baseball Championship ... UVM has qualified for the tournament three times in the last four years and five of the last seven ... Charter members of America East, the Catamounts will be looking for their first title ... This is Vermont's ninth trip since the double-elimination format was adopted in 1995 and twice, in 1997 and 2005, it has been the runner-up ... The Catamounts won five of their last seven games to sew up the fourth seed ... This is UVM's first time as the fourth-seed in 11 overall appearances ... UVM's strong starting rotation allowed only five runs in the three games with the Hawks. Vermont is the only team with three hurlers in the top 10 in the conference in ERA, in all games and in league games ... Junior LHP Joe Serafin (Tariffville, Conn./Simsbury), who allowed two runs or less for the third straight game Thursday, leads the conference with a 2.66 ERA and a .221 opponent average ... Senior LHP Eric Thompson (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Free Academy) is ninth in ERA in all games (3.96) and is second in league games (2.84) ... Thompson (6-1) won his second straight start in game one of Saturday's twinbill with six strong innings ... Junior LHP Justin Albert (Hull, Mass./Hull) hurled a four-hitter to win Saturday's nightcap, 3-1, striking out nine and walking none ... Albert has a 3.59 ERA in all games and a 3.43 ERA in league games with 36 strikeouts and only six walks ... Sophomore Justin Milo (Edina, Minn./Edina/Cornell) drove in the game-winner in both wins Saturday. He had a two-out RBI single in the fifth inning of the opener and hit a two-run homer in the top of the first in game two ... Sophomore Tom Kelly (Milton, Mass./Catholic Memorial/Suffolk) earned his first save at UVM in game one Saturday. Kelly has appeared in 21 games, two off the school single-season record ... The fourth-seeded Catamounts open the championship taking on top-seeded Binghamton Thursday at 3 p.m. ... Thursday will be the 900th career game for head coach Bill Currier, in his 21st season at Vermont.