Baseball is set to face NJIT in the tournament opener

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ORONO, Maine – Binghamton baseball began its quest for a fifth East American tournament title when the No. 2 Bearcats faced No. 3 NJIT at 2:30 a.m. on Maine’s Mahaney Diamond.

The Highlanders advanced with a 3-2 win against No. 6 Hartford, Wednesday. UMass Lowell, the fourth seed, also won on Wednesday with a 7-6 victory against No. The six -team double playoff tournament continues with three games each Thursday and Friday before the last two teams play for the title and the NCAA tournament bid on Saturday.

The Bearcats (19-28) earned their No. 2 lead by winning three of their last four regular season games. Binghamton finished in a three-way tie with NJIT and UMass Lowell but BU came out ahead in the tiebreak, due mainly to four wins in six head-to-head games against NJIT. This is the top scorer in the program since playing as the top scorer in 2017.

Binghamton have six players honored at the East American regular season awards, which were announced Tuesday. Freshman catcher and designated hitter Evin Sullivan named America’s East Rookie of the Year and first all-conference team. He was the only freshman on the first 15-man team and became the first BU freshman to be named the top conference team. He also became the fifth Bearcat to win the Rookie of the Year award. Sullivan hit .337 with seven home runs, 20 extra-base hits and a team-high 34 RBI during the regular season.

Joining Sullivan on the first team is closer to the juniors Jack Collins (2.33 ERA, 7 saves), who was also recognized on the All-Academic Team for the third consecutive year. Junior candy Thomas Babalis (76K, 4.98 ERA) and junior first baseman Connor Aoki (8 HR, 27 RBI) was named second all-conference team and second baseman Nick Roselli (5 HR, 17 RBI) and a new midfielder Logan Haskell (.294, 14 RBI) joins Sullivan on the All-Rookie Team, giving BU the most new student options in 17 years.

The hottest Bearcat is a shortstop senior Jake Evans (.369), who carried a 20 -game hit streak into the postseason – one shy of tying the school record. Since March, Evans has hit a sizzling .430 (27 games) and is teaming that with an exceptional play in short. Against pitching America East, Evans scored .471 – 36 points higher than any other player in the league.

Babali, now a three -time all -conference pick, will take the ball against NJIT.

Defending conference champions Highlanders (24-25) placed three players on the all-conference team, highlighted by Pitcher of the Year Ryan Fischer, who played in the team’s opening victory on Wednesday. Junior outfielder Albert Choi (6 HR, 31 RBI) joined Fischer on the first team.

In the regular season, BU goes 4-2 against NJIT. The Bearcats swept a three-game set in New Jersey in late April before the Highlanders took two of three at Vestal on May 7-8. All six games were decided by three or fewer. Binghamton led the all-time series 23-8, despite generally winning it before NJIT joined East America. The team split eight games last season.