Immediate Release: May 26, 2007
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Senior first baseman and America East Player of the Year Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa.) drove in four runs and top-seeded Binghamton (28-18) knocked off fourth-seeded Maine (22-31) 13-4 in an elimination game of the America East Championship Saturday afternoon from Farmington State College. The Bearcats will now face third-seeded Albany at 3:30 p.m. After blowing a four-run lead in the ninth inning of Friday night's game against the Great Danes, BU will have to defeat its longtime SUNY rival twice in a row to capture the championship. Albany would win the title with one more victory.
Binghamton flexed its offensive muscle for the third straight day, rapping 13 hits and scoring runs in bunches. But unlike Friday's letdown against the Great Danes, BU made the margin stick against the Black Bears. The Bearcats scored twice in the first inning, four in the second, four in the fourth and three more in the seventh and kept Maine scoreless for the final innings.
Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa.) and senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y.) led the offense early on. Hitchcock, who had just one hit in the opening two games, ripped a solo home run with two out in the first inning to opening the scoring. Sophomore designated hitter Kyle Klee (Rochester, N.Y.) delivered an RBI double to put the Bearcats up 2-0. After Maine cut the margin in half in the bottom of the frame, BU erupted for four runs on five hits in the second inning with the key hit being a two-run double by Simek. Senior shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa.) and junior third baseman Ryan James (Wading River, N.Y.) added RBI singles.
After Maine scored twice in the third to pull within 6-3, the Bearcats tacked on four more runs in the fourth inning as Maine's bullpen struggled with control. Hitchcock had an RBI single and then BU took advantage of four walks, two wild pitches and a hit batter. The offense kept firing in the seventh inning, as Hitchcock stroked a two-run single up the middle and a third run scored on a passed ball.
Junior pitcher Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ontario) went the distance, striking out nine and walking one. Diamond (5-3) scattered 11 hits and four runs, and kept the Black Bears off the board for the final five innings.
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