— Four teams will be vying for the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Baseball Tournament title and the league’s first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament this weekend at Bobcat Field.
Action begins Friday at 9 am when top-seeded Frostburg State (28-11, 17-1 AMCC) faces No. 4 seed Pitt-Bradford (23-12, 12-6) in a rematch of last year's championship won by the Bobcats 13-10 in 10 innings. Friday’s second game will feature No. 2 Penn State Behrend (24-14, 12-6) and No. 3 La Roche (22-14, 12-6) at noon. The losers of both games will then face each other in an elimination contest at 3 pm.
Play continues Saturday with the winner's bracket championship game at 9 am, followed by another elimination contest at noon. The first championship game will be played at 3 pm, with the if-needed second championship contest scheduled for Sunday at noon.
Frostburg State enters the tournament on a tremendous roll having won 22 of its last 25 games after starting the season 6-8. FSU is currently ranked eighth in the Mid-Atlantic Region by both the American Baseball Coaches Association and NCAA polls. FSU, which is a solid 12-3 at home this season, has enjoyed success at the plate ranking first in the AMCC in batting average (.349), runs (325), hits (429), doubles (90), triples (10), home runs (30), walks (143) and stolen bases (77).
Individually for the Bobcats, sophomore Art Barone (Chestnut Ridge, N.Y./Spring Valley) ranks 18th in the nation in batting average (.450), classmate Chris Jones (Balitmore, Md./Towson) ranks 18th in stolen bases per game (0.7) and junior Billye Hollister (Waldorf, Md./Thoms Stone) is 32nd in earned run average (1.72).
Penn State Behrend is the No. 2 seed and cruises into the tournament with a 24-14 overall record and 12-6 slate in league play. After starting the season 6-10, the Lions finished strong, going 18-4 backed by a 12-game winning streak. Penn State Behrend looks to return to its winning ways having captured AMCC regular-season titles in 2002 and 2003 and claiming the conference tournament title in ‘03.
In the league this year, the Lions rank first in ERA (3.32), second in both hits (363) and stolen bases (65) and third in batting average (.328). PSB is 24th in the nation in team earned run average, while individually Mike Stetz is third in the AMCC with a .430 batting average to go along with a league-leading 50 hits.
Third-seeded La Roche carries a 22-14 overall record and 12-6 league mark into this year’s tournament. The Redhawks got off to a slow start this season but finished 16-6 on the strength of seven-game winning streak. La Roche, which handed Frostburg State its lone conference loss 4-2 on April 26 in Frostburg, boasts a solid pitching staff that leads the AMCC with just 97 earned runs allowed and also paces the conference with nine saves.
Individually, Ruben DeLeon is tied for third in the nation with all nine of his team's saves. The Redhawks look to continue their winning ways under third-year Head Coach Rich Pasquale, who has guided the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons (18-17 in 2003 and 22-14 in 2004) in school history.
Preseason conference favorite Pitt Bradford is the No. 4 seed with 23-12 overall and 12-6 AMCC marks. UPB is no stranger to success in the tournament, having won back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002. The Panthers entered last year’s tournament as the No. 1 seed but lost twice to Frostburg State, including 13-10 in the 10-inning final.
This season, the UPB pitching staff has allowed the fewest hits (245) and second fewest runs (156) among AMCC teams and is also second in the league in strikeouts (256). Leading the rotation is Bobby Wyant, who is third in the nation with 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings (81 Ks in 52 2/3 innings) and 42nd in the country with a 1.88 earned run average. Justin Schoening paces the Panther offense, ranking second in the conference with 13 doubles, a .676 slugging percentage, six home runs and 73 total bases.
AMCC Tournament Double-Elimination Championship Round
Friday, May 13:
Game 1: #1 Frostburg State vs. #4 Pitt-Bradford, 9 am
Game 2: #2 Penn State Behrend vs. #3 La Roche, noon
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 pm
Saturday, May 14:
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 9 am
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, noon
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 3 pm
Sunday, May 15:
Game 7: Same as Game 6 (if needed), noon
For further information on this release, contact:
Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD 21532-2303