Maine captures crown


BURLINGTON, Vt. – Maine plated all five of its runs in the top of the ninth inning to stage a dramatic come-from-behind 5-3 victory over Stony Brook to win the 2006 America East Baseball Championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Black Bears (35-20-1) were engaged in a tough defensive battle with the Seawolves (25-29) through six and a half innings as both teams were held scoreless. In the bottom of the sixth, Stony Brook struck first as Chris Sipp knocked in Isidro Fortuna with a two-out single. Stony Brook scored again in the seventh as Chris DiBiaso came home on a Troy Martin wild pitch.

Stony Brook tried to wrap up the game with a relief pitcher, but Nick Abel permitted Curt Smith to single through the left side to get things started for the Black Bears. Kevin McAvoy singled to center to move Smith to second before Mark Ostrander doubled to left-center, scoring McAvoy.

Gary Novakowski then entered to pitch for Abel and the Black Bears bats contiuned to come alive. Back-to-back singles by Sean Parker and Danny Menendez scored two more for Maine. Joel Barrett later singled to plate Menendez to give Maine the five runs it would need for victory. The designated hitter Matt McGraw went 3-for-4 and knocked in the fourth run of the game for the Black Bears. Maine’s victory marked the fifth title in school history.