Baseball headed to Stanford for the NCAA Regional

VESTAL, NY – America East champion Binghamton baseball will head to Stanford for the NCAA Regionals, the school learned Monday afternoon as the NCAA revealed its 64-team brackets. The Bearcats watched the live tournament reveal on ESPN2 with supporters at the team’s new stadium.

The PAC-12 champion Cardinal (41-14) received the national No. 2 seeds. Also headed to the Stanford Regional are second-seeded Texas State (45-12, Sun Belt) and third-seeded UC Santa Barbara (43-12, Big West). The Bearcats will face Stanford at 1 pm on Friday (4 pm EST) at Sunken Diamond. Texas State and UC Santa Barbara will play game two at 6 pm There will be two games on Saturday in the double-elimination format. Binghamton will play at least two games against nationally-ranked opponents. Stanford is No. 2 in the latest Collegiate Baseball Top 25. UC Santa Barbara is No. 4 and Texas State is ranked No. 11.

“It’s very rewarding for these kids,” head coach Tim Sinicki said of the NCAA berth. “They deserve a ton of credit. To see the excitement… it’s just wonderful to see their genuine reaction when our name was called. They are ready to compete on a national scene.”

The selection announcement comes less than two days after BU completed a dominant run to its fifth conference title. At the America East tournament in Orono, Maine, BU went 3-0 and outscored opponents 35-11. The crown was the program’s fifth overall and fourth in the last nine years – double the number of any other America East team. The five overall conference titles are third most in America East history.

The program previously played in the NCAA Regionals in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

The Bearcats did it with six underclassmen in the starting lineup, including four freshmen. They also had to overcome adversity at the tournament as late season injuries to all-conference first baseman Connor Aoki and No. 2 pitchers Gabe Driscoll kept those two out of action. Binghamton will enter the NCAA tournament having won five in a row and six of their last seven.

America East Most Outstanding Player Jake Evans (.386) and conference Rookie of the Year Evin Sullivan (.350, 41 RBI) have led the late-season charge. Evans, a senior shortstop, has set the school record with his current 23-game hitting streak. Evans went 2-for-3 with an RBI in Saturday’s championship game and made a huge defensive putout from the grass in left field to stifle a Lowell threat in the seventh inning. Evans went 6-for-10 with four RBI in the tournament. During the historic streak, which has spanned more than six weeks, Evans is hitting an eye-popping .482.

Evans was joined on the All-Championship team by freshman catcher/DH Sullivan, who went 6-for-11 with seven RBI in the three games. Sophomore first baseman Andrew Tan (7-for-13, 5 RBI) and junior pitcher Ryan Bryggman (7.0 IP, 1 run, 7K) joined Evans and Sullivan on the postseason team.

The team will depart on Wednesday and have a practice day on Thursday before facing Stanford Friday afternoon. The Cardinal are playing in their 37th postseason and are the only program in the nation to host a regional in each of the last five years. Stanford advanced to the 2021 College World Series a year ago and are coming off a sweep of the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles.

The Bearcats haven’t faced any of the potential regional opponents in the team’s 22-year Division I history.

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