Zack Bright drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning to give UMBC its first America East baseball championship with a 2-1 win against Maine on Sunday in Lowell, Mass.
“What an amazing baseball game. I couldn’t be happier for the team,” Retrievers coach Bob Mumma said. “Like we have been telling the kids all year, it’s about the process and we kept fighting the whole way.”
UMBC (23-23) earned the America East’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 14 league seasons. The Retrievers' appearance in the NCAA tournament will be their third in 31 years of NCAA Division I competition. The other two were in 1992 (East Coast Conference, at-large bid) and 2001 (Northeast Conference title).
Mitchell Carroll led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Casali. Two batters later, Jamie Switalski walked, followed by an intentional walk to Dolshun to load the bases for Bright.
Sophomore Jacob Christian earned the win in relief, pitching scoreless ninth and 10th innings. He earned a save in UMBC’s opening victory in the tournament over Stony Brook on Friday.
UMBC senior catcher Hunter Dolshun had two hits, and freshman third baseman Christian Torres had the Retrievers' other RBI with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Maine (25-29) scored its run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Christopher Bec.
Dolshun was named tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the all-tournament team by junior pitcher Matt Chanin, senior reliever Connor Staskey and Casali.
The Retrievers won three times over the weekend to capture the title. They defeated third seed Stony Brook, 3-2, on Friday, then blanked fourth seed Albany, 9-0, on Saturday to advance to the championship round.
The NCAA tournament selection show will air Monday at noon on ESPN2.