Baseball Roundup: Exciting Times in America East
It was quite a weekend for America East baseball, but the weekend may quell in comparison to what could happen on Monday night.
After winning three of its first four games over the weekend at the NCAA Coral Gables Regional, Stony Brook's baseball team is just one win away from becoming the first America East to advance to the Super Regional round since the NCAA changed is format in 1999. To do that, the Seawolves will need to beat Central Florida, which they did Sunday night 12-5, to earn a date with LSU next weekend, somewhere they expected to be all along.
"From pitch one of game one, we felt confident about what we could do offensively, and I think that confidence has shown through," head coach Matt Senk said. "We talk about resiliency. We talk about mental toughness. We talk about swagger, when we talk about Stony Brook athletics. They have made it their business that they were going to come into this regional and play like champions."
First pitch between the Seawolves and Knights is 7 p.m. on Monday from University of Miami's Alex Rodriguez park. Watch the game for free here. AmericaEast.com has coverage from all the regional games with recaps and links to box scores and reaction. Also check out recaps from Newsday and the Orlando Sun Sentinel.
Around the same time of first pitch in Coral Gables on Monday, the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft will be getting underway with first and sandwich round selections. Recently, America East teams have had to wait until later in the draft to have players selected, having not had a first-round choice since Carlos Pena went 10th overall in 1999, but that could change this year.
The Seawolves' Travis Jankowski has been recognized as a top talent by scouts and media alike. MLB.com ranks the junior outfielder as the 43rd best prospect in the entire draft while ESPN.com's Keith Law (subscription required) has him 57th. Bleacher Report's Zachary Ball has him going 19th overall to St. Louis in his latest mock draft.
The MVP of the Cape Cod League last year, Jankowski followed up winning Player of the Year honors in America East and his hitting a robust .417 with 73 runs scored, 45 RBI and 35 steals in 60 games this year. If there were any doubts about Jankowski's stock and his ability to play on the big stage, that was quieted this weekend as he's hitting .526 (10-for-19) in the four regional games thus far with a home run, double and triple to go with seven runs scored and five RBI. ESPN Insider's Teddy Mitrosilis (subscription required) thinks Jankowksi has all the tools to be prototypical leadoff hitter at the next level.
Several other America East standouts are expected to be selected over the next three days including Binghamton's ace Mike Augliera, who opened eyes with his performance in the America East Championship. Read about his draft experience in a diary he is writing for BUBearcats.com. Find out where Jankowski, Augliera and others go by following the entire draft with MLB.com's Draft Tracker or watching it on MLB Network.
Rounding out the baseball news from the weekend, a former America East standout continues to excel in the big leagues. Scott Diamond, a Binghamton graduate, improved to 4-1 by not allowing an earned run over seven innings in Minnesota's 6-3 win over Oakland Sunday. Check out the recap from MLB.com.
The left-hander, who earned votes for American League Pitcher of the Month honors in the month of May, is now 4-1 with a 1.76 ERA in six starts. The Twins are 5-1 in those starts and just 15-31 in games he has not pitched.
As America East's baseball teams, current and former players continue to make noise nationally, let's hope that noise is amplified even more on Monday night.