The University of Maine baseball team won three straight game to win the 2011 America East Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon in Stony Brook, N.Y. The Black Bears earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 2006 season. Maine defeated Albany 10-1 on Friday afternoon in the championship game. Taylor Lewis (Montville, Conn.) was named the Most Outstanding Player.
The Black Bears improve to 32-22 on the season. The Black Bears have now won 17 of 18. Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.), Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia), Keith Bilodeau (Bourne, Mass.) and Lewis were all named to the America East All-Tournament Team.
Maine led off the top of the first inning with a double to center field by Taylor Lewis (Montville, Conn.). He moved to third on a Michael Fransoso (Portsmouth, N.H.) sacrifice bunt and scored when Joey Martin (Portland, Maine) reached on an error.
Albany tied the game in the bottom of the second inning when Ralph Rizzo homered over the left field fence.
Maine regained the lead in the top of the fourth inning with four runs. Martin led off the inning with a bunt single and moved to second on a wild pitch. He advanced to third on a Tyler Patzalek (Burlington, Ontario) sacrifice bunt and scored on a Justin Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) sacrifice fly to right field. Alex Calbick (Burnaby, British Columbia), Justin Leisenheimer (Middle Village, N.Y.) and Colin Gay (Franklin, Mass.) drew back-to-back-to-back walks to load the bases. Troy Black (Mississauga, Ontario) was hit to force home Calbick. Lewis followed with a two-run single, giving Maine a 5-1 lead.
Maine added to its lead in the top of the seventh inning. Martin led off the inning with a single to right field. Patzalek followed and reached on an bunt single. He advanced to second on an error while Martin moved to third. Justin Leisenheimer followed with a home run over the left field fence, extending Maine's lead to 8-1. Ian Leisenheimer homered over the left fence later in the inning and Maine extended its lead to 9-1.
Fransoso tripled in the top of the ninth inning and then scored when Joey Martin singled to extend Maine's lead to 10-1.
Stephen Perakslis (Abington, Mass.) got the start on the mound for the Black Bears and was outstanding. He went 7.1 innings and allowed one run on three hits while striking out eight. He improves to 6-4 on the season. Shaun Coughlin (Northfield, Conn.) pitched the final 1.2 innings. He did not allow a hit.
Matt Dybus got the start on the mound for Albany. He went 3.2 innings and allowed five runs on three hits. He walked five Maine batters and falls to 0-1 on the season. He was replaced by Greg Lutton. Lutton went 2.2 innings and allowed four runs on seven hits. He was replaced by Austin Chase. Chase went 1.2 innings. Terry McFadden pitched the final inning.
The Black Bears will find out their NCAA Tournament fate on Monday, May 30. The selection show will be televised at 12:30 PM on ESPN.
-UNIVERSITY OF MAINE-