Head coach Nick Derba watches the action during a University of Maine baseball game in 2019. The Black Bears have altered their travel plans and will play next week in Maryland rather than going to Florida. Credit: Ryan Long | UMaine Athletics

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect a subsequent cancellation of all spring sports by the America East Conference for the rest of the semester.

The University of Maine baseball team, which earlier Thursday had announced a revamped schedule for the upcoming week, has encountered more changes.

The Black Bears, who had lined up four games against Towson University next week, found out Thursday afternoon that Towson has elected to halt all spring sports.

“Out of an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, Towson University has suspended the remainder of the athletics varsity spring season, effective immediately,” the university’s athletics department said in a release.

The Black Bears were originally scheduled to play five games in Florida next week, but canceled one contest against Stetson University (and former UMaine head coach Steve Trimper), along with a four-game series against Canisius.

UMaine, which is scheduled to open the America East Conference season on Friday at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

“The decision was made to try to keep the athletes safe while still providing them a worthwhile experience,” UMaine athletics spokesman Tyler Neville said. “Maryland is a safer option than Florida, as is busing rather than flying.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, as of noon Wednesday there had been nine confirmed cases of coronavirus in Maryland and 19 in Florida.

UMaine and UMBC are scheduled to play a single game on Friday afternoon and a doubleheader on Saturday. The Black Bears will then remain in Maryland and have arranged to play a four-game set against Towson University, which is located only 20 miles away.

UMaine and Towson will play single 4 p.m. games on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Previously scheduled games in Florida against Stetson, coached by former Black Bears boss Steve Trimper, and Canisius, including a Pregame Alumni Tailgate event at Stetson, have all been canceled.

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Pete Warner

Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor...