Albany's Crean, Stony Brook Pitchers Shine In Conference-Opening Series
Cambridge, Mass.-- After rainy days canceled or postponed many of the midweek games, America East baseball squads opened up with a full slate of conference series this weekend and this week's award winners shined. University at Albany senior shortstop Kyle Crean (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place) took home Player of the Week honors after crushing five extra-base hits over 16 at-bats in a series-sweep of Hartford, while Stony Brook pitchers Nick Tropeano (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip) and Brandon McNitt (Chino Hills, Calif./Bishop Amat) secured Pitcher of the Week and Rookie of the Week awards after fantastic outings against conference-foe Maine.
Crean hit .562 (9-for-16) for the week, scoring four runs and driving in seven more. The senior shortstop recorded a home run in the America East series-opening win over Hartford on Saturday, and then tied a single-game school record with three doubles in the series-finale victory over the Hawks on Sunday. Crean also tallied three hits, including a double, in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, driving in two runs, before sending three runs home on Sunday. He scored one run in each of the Great Danes’ four games last week, and recorded multiple hits in three of out of the four games, includng the mid-week game against Hofstra.
Tropeano pitched a two-hitter in his 2011 America East debut, an 8-1 Seawolves win over Maine in the series opener. The junior righty allowed just one run and struck out five over seven innings, walking just one Black Bear. Tropeano leads America East in strikeouts (57), including 16 looking, wins (six) and opposing batting average (.139). His ERA of 1.16 also ranks second in the conference this season.
McNitt went 2-0 in two appearances on the mound in the conference series with Maine. He pitched the 11th and 12th innings of scoreless ball in the completion of Saturday’s suspended game which continued on Sunday, picking up the victory. McNitt then pitched seven shutout innings later in the day in the 7-0 win over Maine in the series finale. He allowed just five hits in that game and did not walk a batter while strikng out five. Just one of the five hits coming against McNitt went for extra bases. The freshman hurler leads the conference with an ERA of 0.77.
Albany (10-15, 3-0 AE) kicked off America East Conference play with a series-sweep of Hartford over the weekend, after falling to Hofstra in a mid-week matchup... The Great Danes were led by senior shortstop Kyle Crean (Miller Place, N.Y./Miller Place) who hit .562 for the week, going 9-for-16 at the plate with four runs scored and seven RBI... On Sunday, Crean tied Albany’s single-game record with three doubles... He also hit a home run in Saturday’s series opener... Redshirt freshman Josh Nethaway (Fonda, N.Y./Fonda-Fultonville) hit .417 with one run scored and one RBI... Nethaway has seen action at both catcher and designated hitter this season... Senior right-hander Dave Kubiak (Southold, N.Y./Southold) recorded a complete-game shutout in the series-opener against Hartford, striking out nine and scattering just five hits across the seven innings... Kubiak has a staff-best 2.98 ERA and leads the team with 41 strikeouts in seven appearances... Austin Chase (East Greenbush, N.Y./Columbia) earned the first save of his career on Sunday... Albany will return to action with a mid-week game at Marist before hosting Binghamton in a four-game series over the weekend.
Binghamton (10-15, 3-0 AE) stretched its win streak to six with a three-game sweep of UMBC to begin conference play. The Bearcats improved to 25-3 against the Retrievers since joining the America East in the 2002 season. Binghamton is looking for its fifth consecutive America East regular season title... At UMBC, Binghamton pitchers held down a 2.16 ERA and the bottom of the lineup did the most damage in the series... Excluding the team’s 3-4 hitters, the rest of the lineup hit .380 against the Retrievers, led by senior right fielder Peter Bregartner (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip), who hit .545 (6-for-11) with five runs scored... Junior pitcher Mike Augliera (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) scattered six hits and one run over eight innings to notch his fourth win of the season. Augliera (4-2) struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter... Senior reliever Zach Juliano (Overland Park, Kan./Olathe East/Fort Scott CC) saved two of the three games, lowering his season ERA to a team-best 3.12. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in game one with a strikeout and double-play groundout to end the game... Senior DH Jeff Skelhorne-Gross (Mississauga, Ontario/Lorne Park Secondary) drove in five runs in the Saturday twinbill sweep... The Bearcats will play their home opener Tuesday against Niagara - the team’s first home game after 25 straight road games to start the season. Then Binghamton will head back to the road for a four-game set at Albany. The Bearcats have won nine of their last 11 games against the Great Danes.
Hartford (2-23-1, 0-3 AE) opened conference play over the weekend at Albany, dropping all three games to the Great Danes... The Hawks were shut out in the series opener, 6-0, before dropping two 7-5 decisions to wrap up the three-game set... Hartford held a 5-0 lead in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader... Freshman Mark Sorbara (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township) smashed his second home run of the season, a two-run shot in the sixth inning which put the Hawks up by five... Sorbara started all three games of the series, batting .417 with the home run, a double and four RBIs... He was the only Hawk to drive in more than one run over the weekend... Hartford had runners to second base in seven of the nine innings during Saturday’s second game, but stranded 11 runners... Freshman Alex Gouin (West Orange, N.J./West Orange) started in that game, going 6.0 innings and allowing just two earned runs... Freshman Ryan Lukach (Hillsborough, N.J./Hillsborough) also had a productive weekend, going 4-for-11 (.364) with an RBI as he started all three games in the outfield... Hartford has three home games this week, hosting Iona on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and then playing its first home conference series of the season this weekend when Maine visits Fiondella Field for three games... The Hawks and Black Bears will play a doubleheader at noon on Saturday and a single game getting underway at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The University of Maine baseball team (10-19, 1-3 AE) dropped three of four games at Stony Brook over the weekend... Keith Bilodeau (Bourne, Mass./Bourne) picked up his team-leading third win of the season on Sunday afternoon... He threw a complete game in Maine’s 7-3 win on Sunday... The second game of Maine and Stony Brook’s doubleheader on Saturday was suspended due to darkness with the game tied 7-7 after 10 innings... The game was finished on Sunday and the Seawolves won in 12 innings... It was Maine’s first extra innings game of the season... Maine rookie pitcher Shaun Coughlin (Northfield, Conn.) has not walked a batter in his last 21 innings on the mound... He has struck out 15 batters over that span... Maine has played all 29 games this season on the road or at neutral sites... The Black Bears will continue on the road next weekend when they travel to Hartford for a three-game America East series.
UMBC (4-20, 0-3 AE) dropped its first America East series of the season to Binghamton this past weekend... Senior Austin Drewyer (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) pitched his third complete game of the season Sunday, but the Retrievers fell, 5-4... Drewyer did not issue a walk and has only two walks in 57.1 innings of work this year, sixth in the country going into last week’s games... Junior Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) leads the Retriever hitters, batting .322 with a home run and 14 runs driven in... Fellow junior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) leads the squad with 16 RBIs and eight doubles... The Retrievers return to action Tuesday when they host George Mason at 6 p.m. before hitting the road this weekend for a three-game series at Stony Brook.
Stony Brook (19-8, 3-1 AE) won three of four from Maine over the weekend... The Seawolves won the opener, 8-1, behind a two-hitter from junior Nick Tropeano (West Islip, N.Y.)... The right-hander allowed just one run and struck out five... Tropeano has allowed just three runs over his last 35.0 innings pitched... The Seawolves then went into extra innings with Maine in the second game on Saturday... With the game being suspended after 10 innings, the teams continued the action prior to Sunday’s doubleheader... Stony Brook won in the 12th inning, with junior Pat Cantwell (West Islip, N.Y.) scoring on a suicide squezze... Freshman Brandon McNott (Chino Hills, Calif.) earned the win as he pitched the final 2.0 innings in relief... McNitt then earned his second victory of the day in the series final, tossing 7.0 shutout innings in the 7-0 Stony Brook victory... McNitt allowed five hits and did not walk a batter... SBU put the game away with a five-run fifth highlighted by a two-run double from sophomore Willie Carmona (Hempstead, N.Y.) and a two-run home run from senior Stephen Marino (Lake Grove, N.Y.)... Carmona hit .471 in the four-game series with six runs scored in the four-game set against Maine.