America East Championship
No. 1 MAINE vs. No. 4 STONY BROOK
Time, site: 4 p.m. Wednesday, LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass.
Records: Maine 34-20, Stony Brook 24-32
Series, last meeting: SBU leads 35-26, SBU 1-0 on 4/21/13
Key players: Maine — 2B Troy Black (.368, 23 runs batted in, 12 stolen bases), SS Mike Fransoso (.356, 3 HR, 45 RBI, 19 SB), 3B Eric White (.329, 5 HR, 31 RBI), RF Brian Doran (.321, 1 HR, 22 RBI), LF Sam Balzano (.311, 21 RBI, 21 SB); SBU — LF Jack Parenty (.348, 17 RBI), SS Cole Peragine (.286, 1 HR, 19 RBI), 3B Johnny Caputo (.260, 19 RBI), RF Tanner Nivins (.246, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 10 SB), CF Josh Mason (.298, 12 RBI, 8 SB)
Pitching matchup — Maine: RH Tommy Lawrence (9-3, 2.59 earned run average, 67 strikeouts) vs. SBU: RH Frankie Vanderka (8-3, 2.27 ERA, 58)
Coach Steve Trimper’s keys to the game: “Everything comes down to three days. At this point, there’s not a lot of coaching besides calling bunts and hit-and-runs. The key is the kids playing with confidence and playing with a passion. We have to win our conference to go to an NCAA regional. We’re not taking anything for granted. We have to go out and do what we’ve been doing well, which is playing one inning at a time, one game at a time and trying to do the small stuff — bunting, hitting-and-running, clean defense [no errors].”
Game notes: The Black Bears have won nine of their last 12 heading into the postseason and expect a pitching duel in this one. Vanderka, who is on four days’ rest, has allowed nine hits and two earned runs in 13 innings and is 1-1 against UMaine this season. Lawrence is 2-0, giving up 13 hits and one earned run in 16 innings. SBU earned its tourney spot on the last day of the regular season. UMaine, which won four of six regular-season meetings, ranks No. 22 in Division I in batting average (.306) and No. 52 in runs scored (6.3 rpg). SBU is No. 274 (.243) and No. 277 (3.8), respectively, among 296 teams.