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Season Recap: Baseball wins another championship

BU captures second straight America East crown, plays in NCAAs for third time in last six years

June 17, 2014


Season Recap: Baseball wins another championship

2014 America East champions

Championship Game recap

Championship highlights

NCAA highlights

NCAA interviews

NCAA Selection Show highlights

Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)

VESTAL, N.Y. - On paper, Binghamton’s second-straight conference championship and NCAA Regional appearance will look like a predictable and proper result. After all, BU returned its entire starting lineup from its 2013 championship team. However, this title wound up being won on heart as much as talent.

Binghamton had to climb over piles of adversity to claim the program’s third America East title in the last six years — the most crowns of any conference team in that span.

Consider:
• The team lost its starting catcher in early March
• Two of the team’s projected top-4 starting pitchers weren’t available over the final six weeks of the season
• The team’s opening-day first baseman and third baseman missed a combined 52 games with injuries, including the final five postseason games
• Entering the America East Championship, 40% of the team’s roster was unavailable with injuries
• The third-seeded Bearcats dropped the opening game of the tournament. In the league’s 25-year history, no other team had won four straight elimination games, including the final two against the top-seed.

But instead of wilting, BU gutted out a 25-win season and with 11 wins in its last 16 regular season games, the Bearcats secured the No. 3 seed for the America East tournament. There, they shook off an opening-game loss and ran the table with four straight wins — including a pair of dramatic one-run victories over top-seeded Stony Brook, to claim the title. After hitting .272 during the regular season, BU hit .312 in the tournament and got huge pitching contributions from three unheralded freshmen, two sophomores and two relief pitchers, one of whom threw a complete-game shutout in just his second career start. 

“This team had an incredible resiliency. We had a veteran group mixed in with some talented young players and they showed the ability to stay focused all year through some highs and lows. They always found a way to get the job done. I was blown away by their sense of confidence.”
- Head Coach Tim Sinicki
   
2014 Highlights
• Won four consecutive elimination games to capture the program’s second straight America East championship and third in six years
• Played in the America East title game for the fifth time in the last eight seasons
• Became the first team in the league’s 25-year history to knock off the top-seed in back-to-back tournament games to win the crown
• Earned the No. 3 seed after the regular season — extending the league’s longest streak of securing a top-three tournament seed to eight straight years
• Played at the NCAA Stillwater Regional, losing to seventh-ranked Oklahoma State and then 19th-ranked Nebraska in a game BU led in the 9th inning
• BU ranked in the nation’s top 20% in fielding percentage for a second straight year (.973)

• Senior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz was drafted in the 28th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers - the sixth BU player drafted in the last seven years
• Bereszniewicz and senior second baseman Daniel Nevares both named to ABCA All-Northeast Region team - BU was the only team in America East to have two position players selected
• Six players earned All-Conference honors and two were named to the All-Academic Team
• Four players selected to the America East All-Championship Team
• Senior first baseman Shaun McGraw was named Most Outstanding Player at the America East Championship after hitting .450 with five RBI in five games
• Bereszniewicz led the America East in batting (.367), hits (school-record 77), triples (5) and stolen bases (school-record 23)
• Freshman catcher Eddie Posavec caught 336 consecutive innings (38 games) to end the season. He hit .315 in the regular season — tops among all America East rookies and was selected to the All-Championship Team after hitting .400 with the title-clinching RBI
• Junior Greg Ostner fired a complete-game shutout against Hartford in an elimination game and didn’t allow a run in two tournament appearances (11.0 innings), earning All-Championship Team recognition
• Nevares and senior John Howell (SS) started 177 career games together — the most of any middle-infield tandem in program history — and turned 66 career double plays (19 in 2014)
• Junior Anthony Grillini pitched 5.2 shutout innings to notch the win in the America East championship game and held a 0.00 ERA in two tournament appearances, earning All-Championship Team honors

Additional 2014 Superlatives

INDIVIDUAL
• Bereszniewicz set school records with 77 hits and 23 stolen bases
• Bereszniewicz hit .401 (55-137) over last 33 games (8 weeks of season) and had 15-game hit streak, 18 multi-hit games and never went more than one game without a hit during span

• Bereszniewicz ranks 38th in the country in triples, 46th in stolen bases and 57th in average
• Sophomore pitcher Jake Cryts led America East and ranked 11th in the country in starts (16)
• Junior pitcher Greg Ostner led America East in appearances (21) and ranked third in ERA (2.81)

TEAM
• Set school records for season stolen bases (75) and double plays (41)
• Led America East in double plays, home runs (18), slugging (.372), triples (14) and stolen bases
• Had two of America East’s top-6 in slugging (#3 Nevares and #6 Bereszniewicz), on-base (#3 Bereszniewicz and #6 Nevares) and RBI (T-6 Thomas and Nevares)
• Had three of America East’s top-8 in home runs (#2 Thomas, T-3 Nevares and T-8 McGraw)
• Had two of America East’s top-4 pitchers for innings pitched (#3 Cryts and #4 Jack Rogalla) and wins (T-6 Cryts and Rogalla)

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