Bearcats Baseball Prepare To Host America East TournamentPosted: Updated:
Vestal, N.Y. - After a disheartening 2018 season where Binghamton University baseball did not make the America East Tournament, they've now had a bounce back season here in 2019. Not only are they hosting the tournament this year, but also coming into the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Wednesday will mark the first time since 2010 that Binghamton University baseball hosted the America East championship.
The six-team, double-elimination tournament will be played at the Bearcats Baseball Complex and will culminate with the conference champion gaining the league's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament.
"It's so much better than taking a ten hour trip up to Maine" said redshirt junior Alex Baratta. "Playing in front of our fans, our friends, families, it's going to be awesome and I can't wait for Wednesday."
"It's going to be awesome" said starting pitcher Ben Anderson. "We have a great facility here. It's amazing. Just something about playing at home that we've liked this year. We've done a good job at playing on our field and winning games."
The Bearcats will face No. 6 Hartford in the tournament's second game on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m.
"We're ready to go" said head coach, Tim Sinicki. "We're looking forward to having the opportunity to play here on campus. Hopefully family, friends and people on campus can come out and watch. I think they'll be pleasantly surprised by the level of baseball that's played in our conference."
The bearcats swept the University of Hartford during the regular season in a three-game series. Taking the first game of the double-header 12-1 and then 6-2. The last game of the series, the Bearcats pulled off the 1-0 win.
"Every team that's left is great" said Ben. "They have a good offense. We're going to have to keep them in check."
"All year long we try and worry about the things we do and not who we're playing" said Tim. "Whether it's a non-conference game or a conference game, we need to play good baseball and let the result take care of itself."
The Bearcats started to find more consistency during the second half of the season, finishing the last thirteen games, 8-5. A big reason behind that consistency is the fact that the team is finally completely healthy.
"We're as healthy as we've been" said Tim. "That hasn't been the case all season. We've had some guys dinged up here and there. I think we're in good shape right now."
The Bearcats pitching staff is also in very good shape. Binghamton leads the America East conference in pitching, posting a 4.16 ERA, allowing only 202 runs on the regular season.
"I give so much credit to our pitchers" said Tim. "We have guys in positions right now, who probably didn't think they were going to be put into those roles, you know, six months ago and they've really accepted the challenge and have leaned on each other. Now, although they've done an outstanding job, I think it's also because we play great defense. What we do behind those pitchers, from a defensive stand point, we've been excellent all year."
Junior starting pitcher Ben Anderson leads Binghamton on the hill. The New York native is posting a 2.96 ERA and has tossed 104 strikeouts, setting the single-season strikeout record of 87 at Binghamton University. Also, only six players in the America East have ever thrown more than 100 strikeouts during the regular season.
"I saw that online actually, the other day" said Ben. "It's awesome. It's a great moment for me. I couldn't do it without the support that I have. My family, and the coaches here, all the players, my catchers. Connor, who I have thrown to all year long, coming in as a freshman has done an unbelievable job. I couldn't ask for a better catcher. It's an awesome moment."
Ben Anderon, Nick Gallagher and Thomas Babalis is the projected Binghamton rotation for the tournament. Ben Anderson will get the nod in game one against the University of Hartford.
"We feel very confident" said Alex. "Ben's the ace of our staff, everyone knows it. He's had a great year."