Baseball Opens America East Tournament Against UMBC
ALBANY, N.Y. – Taking the regular season down to the wire, the University at Albany baseball team finally clinched the last spot in the 2018 America East Tournament in the second-to-last game of the season, earning a 3-2 extra innings victory over UMBC in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday.
UAlbany (19-26, 9-15 AE) split the doubleheader with the Retrievers, falling 6-1 in the second game. The Great Danes denied UMBC, defending conference champion from 2017, a bid for the two-seed in this year’s tournament and the first-round bye that accompanies it. By virtue of seeding, UAlbany will meet UMBC in their first tournament game on Wednesday.
Hartford drew the top overall seed after drawing the six-seed last season. Last year’s regular season champion and this year’s unanimous preseason favorite Binghamton finished out of the running while idle on the final weekend of the 2018 regular season. UMass Lowell, in the team’s first year of postseason eligibility following the fulfillment of NCAA reclassification obligations, drew the two seed.
Four-seed Stony Brook will play tournament host and five-seed Maine in the tournament’s first game. The winner of that game will play Hartford in Thursday’s first game, and the winner of UAlbany’s game against UMBC will play UMass Lowell for Thursday’s second game. The loser of Wednesday’s first two games will face off in Wednesday’s third and final game in the tournament’s first elimination game.
In last year’s tournament, UAlbany drew the four-seed and won its first two games over five-seed Maine and one-seed Binghamton, placing the Great Danes one win away from the championship. UMBC handed UAlbany its first loss of the tournament, and the Great Danes were then eliminated by Maine in their very next game.
On the season, UAlbany finished seventh in the America East in hitting (.244) and fifth in pitching (5.31 ERA). Individually, Patrick Lagravinese finished second in walks (33) while Dominic Savino, in his first year as a starter, led the conference in wins (7).
Following a six-game winning streak in the middle of the season that included a three-game sweep at Varsity Field over Stony Brook, who at the time was the top team in the America East, UAlbany has struggled down the stretch, winning just three of their last 14 games. Last season, the Great Danes arrived at the tournament having won 13 of 18. However, in this weekend’s must-win situation at UMBC, the Great Danes came through in extra innings to clinch the last spot in the tournament.
For the second consecutive season, UAlbany’s first opponent in the America East Tournament will be the same team against which they closed the regular season. In 2017, UAlbany took two of three games from Maine to close the regular season and defeated Maine in the tournament’s opening round.
The entirety of the 2018 America East Baseball Tournament can be streamed on ESPN+.
2018 America East Baseball Championship
at Mahaney Diamond - Orono, Maine
Wednesday, May 23
Game 1: No. 4 Stony Brook vs. No. 5 Maine, 11:00 a.m.
Game 2: No. 3 UMBC vs. No. 6 UAlbany, 2:30 p.m.
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 24
Game 4: No. 1 Hartford vs. Winner Game 1, 11:00 a.m.
Game 5: No. 2 UMass Lowell vs. Winner Game 2, 2:30 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser G4/G5 (lower seed), 6:00 p.m.
Friday, May 25
Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 11:00 a.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser G4/G5 (higher seed), 2:30 p.m.
Game 9: Winner Game 8 vs. Loser Game 7, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
Game #10 – Championship Game: Winner Game #7 vs. Winner Game #9 – 11:00 a.m.
Game #11 – if necessary, Winner Game #10 vs. Loser Game #10 – 2:30 p.m.