LOWELL, Mass. — More than 14 hours of rain delay did little to help the University of Maine baseball team. The top-seeded Black Bears lost 10-2 to No. 2 Binghamton in a winners bracket final of the America East tournament that began Thursday night and concluded Friday afternoon at LeLacheur Park.
The loss means Maine must turn around and play No. 4 Stony Brook on Friday afternoon in an elimination game while Binghamton awaits the survivor for a scheduled 8 p.m. meeting.
“Obviously, the losers side of the bracket is tough, but we’ve been preparing for this all year,” said Maine head coach Steve Trimper. “We’ve been playing good baseball and we’ve got confidence in our guys. We’ve won three games in a row before, last time I checked.”
Binghamton (29-22) held an 8-2 lead when rain interrupted play at 11:12 p.m. Thursday. The Bearcats scored twice more in Friday’s 31-minute resumption on four hits in the ninth inning, raising their hit total to 16 against five Maine pitchers.
“We just did not play our best,” Trimper said. “Our pitchers did not throw the quality pitches that they’ve been throwing all year and it cost us.”
Alex Calbick had three of Maine’s nine hits. The Black Bears (35-21) left the bases loaded in the fifth and runners on second and third in the eighth.
Mike Connolly, who caught Maine’s first two games, will be the starting pitcher Friday afternoon against Stony Brook, scheduled to begin at 4. If the winner beats Binghamton in the evening game, a winner-take-all final is scheduled for Saturday night at 8.
The tournament champion earns an automatic berth in the 64-team field of the NCAA Division I tournament.