ORONO, Maine — It has been an up-and-down season for the University of Maine baseball team, which has spent the last few weeks digging itself out of the America East cellar.

With one weekend of conference play remaining, the Black Bears are in excellent position to secure a postseason berth.

UMaine is one win away from clinching a spot in the America East Baseball Championship. The four-team, double-elimination event will be held May 21-23 at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Coach Steve Trimper’s team (22-24, 8-9 AE) took care of business during its final home series last weekend, sweeping Binghamton University on Friday and Saturday.

“We played three really good games, and it’s a great positive to build off, gaining some confidence going into next weekend and playing well next weekend and into the tournament,” said senior co-captain Scott Heath of Westbrook.

UMaine, which was in sixth place entering the series, emerged in fourth place behind regular-season champion Stony Brook (16-4 AE), Maryland Baltimore County (13-8) and UMass Lowell (10-10). However, because UMass Lowell remains ineligible for the America East tournament until 2018 because of its NCAA Division I provisional status, the Black Bears actually are in third place.

UMaine, which will finish ahead of Binghamton (6-14) no matter what, also will put Albany behind it by taking one of three games this week. The series at Albany is scheduled for Friday (doubleheader) and Saturday.

The Black Bears actually could finish as high as second if they sweep Albany and Hartford takes all three games from UMBC. Hartford also needs only one win over UMBC to secure a playoff spot.

UMaine, which posted its first America East series sweep of the season against Binghamton, is starting to feel as though it is building some much-needed momentum.

“We really needed [the sweep], and now we’ve got a chance next weekend to go and make the tournament,” said junior catcher Kevin Stypulkowski, who on Monday was named the America East Player of the Week.

Stypulkowski batted .556 against the Great Danes, providing two home runs, two doubles, six runs batted in and four runs scored. He posted a .636 on-base percentage and a 1.444 slugging percentage.

“Stypulkowski had a great weekend,” Trimper said. “He had some big hits [Friday], two home runs [Saturday].”

UMaine had not registered a sweep of a three-game league series since beating UML three times April 12-13, 2014.

UMaine is scheduled to tune up for the series at Albany with a single game Tuesday at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...