ALBANY, N.Y. – The University of Maine baseball team clinched a berth in the 2015 America East Tournament with a doubleheader sweep of Albany on Friday afternoon. Maine won the first game 4-1 behind an impressive pitching performance by rookie Justin Courtney (Bangor, Maine). The Black Bears took the second game 3-1. Jake Osborne (Burlington, Ontario) led the offense with three hits.
Maine improves to 24-25 on the season and improves to 10-9 in America East play. Albany falls to 13-28 overall, 6-13 in conference play.
In the first game, the contest remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning. Matt Hinchy reached on an error and moved to third base on a single by Craig Lepre. Hinchy scored the first run of the game when Garrett Longhurst hit a sacrifice fly.
Maine answered with four runs in the top of the seventh inning. Scott Heath (Westbrook, Maine) led off the inning and drew a walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored when Luke Morrill (South Thomaston, Maine) doubled to right field. Morrill stole third base and scored when Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) struck out, but reached on a wild pitch. Brenden Geary (South Hadley, Mass.) drew a walk. Stypulkowski and Geary pulled off a double steal, putting runners on second and third. Steven Adam (Tecumseh, Ontario) walked. Stypulkowski scored on a passed ball and Geary scored on a double steal.
Justin Courtney was again impressive on the mound. He allowed one unearned run over six innings. He improves to 5-5 on the season and lowers his ERA to a team-leading 2.83. Logan Fullmer (Lebanon, Pa.) went three scoreless innings in relief to earn his third save of the season.
Stephen Woods got the start for Albany. He allowed four runs, two of which were earned, on just two hits over 6.2 innings. He falls to 3-6 on the season. Joey Moore went the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit.
In the second game, Maine took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Morrill walked and Brian Doran (Ayr, Ontario) followed with a single, moving Morrill to third base. He scored the first run of the game when Christian Garabedian (Miami, Fla.) singled up the middle.
Albany tied the game in the bottom of the third inning. Trevor DeMerritt walked and scored when Hinchy drew a bases loaded walk.
Maine took the lead back in the top of the fourth inning. Garabedian singled through the right side and Jake Osborne (Burlington, Ontario) followed with a single through the left side. Garabedian scored when Jonathan Salcedo (Providence, R.I.) singled to right field. Osborne scored when Sam Balzano (Portland, Maine) reached on a fielder's choice.
Heath got the start for Maine on the mound in the second game. He went five innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out five batters. Heath improves to 6-3 on the season. Charlie Butler (Marlborough, Mass.) replaced Heath and went a scoreless innings. Fullmer pitched a scoreless ninth to record his second save of the day and fourth of the season.
Cameron Sorgie went seven innings for Albany and allowed three runs on 10 hits. He falls to 1-6 on the season.
The Black Bears and Great Danes finish their America East series with a single game on Saturday, May 16. First pitch is set for 12 noon.