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Great Danes Win America East Conference Baseball Championship


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Posted 14 July 2007 - 08:40 AM

Great Danes Win America East Conference Baseball Championship
Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information
Release: 05/26/2007

Courtesy: UAlbany Athletics



Farmingdale, N.Y. – Alexander Beaulieu recorded his tenth save of the season by striking out two batters in the ninth inning, as UAlbany captured its first-ever America East Conference championship with a 1-0 victory over Binghamton on Saturday afternoon at Farmingdale Park. The Great Danes earned an automatic NCAA Tournament berth.

Beaulieu, a junior closer, was called upon after Binghamton’s Joe Charron tripled into the right-field gap with one out off reliever Sean Gregory. The right-hander struck out Pat Haughie swinging with a fastball before walking Henry Dunn. Beaulieu then sealed the verdict when he caught lead-off hitter Justin Smucker looking with a slider on the third strike to end the game.

UAlbany starter Cory Warrings, who had won two of his last four regular-season starts, went 6.1 innings on the mound. He allowed three hits and struck out two to earn the championship’s most outstanding player award. Warrings, a 6-foot-4 left-hander, allowed Matt Simek’s one-out double in the sixth, but then stranded him by recording a pop out to second and ground out to third.

UAlbany (29-27) scored the game’s lone run in the fifth when Leo Corvino walked with two outs and then moved to second base on a wild pitch. Steve Wyland, a member of the all-championship team, followed with a RBI single to center field. Sean Gregory, who relieved Warrings in the seventh, worked out of trouble twice. Charron walked and advance to second via a sacrifice bunt, before Gregory retired both hitters he faced in the inning. Simek, who went 2-for-3 at the plate, doubled down the right-field line with two outs in the eighth. But Gregory forced Jeff Monaco to ground out to the shortstop.

“This was a hard-earned win,” said UAlbany coach Jon Mueller, whose team recovered from a four-game sweep by Binghamton in April to make the America East postseason on the last weekend of the regular season. “Our seniors never gave up after that first conference series. (Cory) Warrings got in a comfort zone and kept his pitch count down. He got us to the best bullpen we’ve had since I’ve been here. I am going to take a deep breath and enjoy this magical ride.”

Jeff Dennis pitched six solid innings for the Bearcats, who dropped an 8-7 decision in the second round to UAlbany following a five-run ninth. Dennis gave up three hits, struck out eight and walked six in this pitcher’s duel that produced the first 1-0 result in conference tournament history. Reliever Greg Lane was even more effective as he threw three hitless innings.

“It feels great that I came through for the team,” offered Wyland, whose bases-clearing double was the key hit in the previous night’s two-out, ninth-inning rally. “Our pitching was unbelievable today. We knew they had to play that early game, so I think we had more energy and were a little fresher (for the championship). We played with the experience of having been in the tournament before. No one was nervous.”

Binghamton (28-19), the championship’s top seed after winning the regular-season title, reached the America East final earlier in the day by defeating Maine, 13-4, in an elimination game. Brendon Hitchcock, the conference’s player of the year, had three hits, including a solo homer in the first, and drove in four runs.

-agate-

America East Conference – Championship

UAlbany (29-27) 000 010 000 - 1 3 1

Binghamton (28-19) 000 000 000 - 0 6 2

Cory Warrings, Sean Gregory (7), Alexander Beaulieu (9) and Tom Hill.

Jeff Dennis, Greg Lane (7) and Pat Haughie.




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