Instead of packing for spring break, the Binghamton University baseball team packed and prepared for a seven-game road trip that spanned the course of seven days. The Bearcats began the week with a record of 7-9 and finished with an overall record of 9-14 (1-2 America East), winning only two games out of the seven.
After losing two of three to Siena College, the Bearcats traveled to University Park, Penn. to take on Penn State University (10-18).
Sophomore Jed Lemen took the mound for his first collegiate start for the Bearcats, retiring the opposition for the first two innings of play before Penn State scored four runs off three hits in the third. Lemen allowed two more runs in the third before being replaced by freshman Ty Lyons who also made his season debut. Lyons threw a wild pitch and walked two batters to bring home another run giving Penn State a 4-1 lead after three innings of play. The Nittany Lions padded their lead in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings en route to an 8-2 win.
Sophomore center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz went 3-for-4 on the day and freshman Jake Thomas went 2-for-3. The Bearcats collected 12 hits, matching Penn State, but couldn’t produce with runners in scoring position, leaving nine runners stranded on base.
After the loss to the Nittany Lions, Binghamton traveled to Stony Brook University for a three-game series over the weekend against the Seawolves to begin America East play. Stony Brook took the series 2-1.
“Obviously you want to win every series that you play, and we’re a little disappointed that we only got one out of three,” head coach Tim Sinicki said. “But at the same time I thought we showed ourselves that we’re just as good as the team who was picked to win the conference this year.”
In the opener, the Seawolves (19-8, 2-1 AE) rallied to win by a score of 2-1 in extra innings in what proved to be pitchers’ duel between two of the league’s most outstanding aces in Binghamton senior Mike Augliera (2-4) and Stony Brook senior Tyler Johnson (3-1). Johnson allowed only five hits and one run through eight innings, while Augliera allowed two runs on six hits and recorded five strikeouts through 7.1 innings. The Bearcats’ ace worked his way out of several jams, stranding nine Seawolves on base.
In Game 2, Binghamton junior starting pitcher Jay Lynch and Seawolves starting pitcher Brandon McNitt each cruised through the first three innings of play until the Bearcats plated two runs in the fourth for a slim 2-0 lead. Stony Brook answered back with two runs in the fourth, however, followed by one in the fifth, before exploding with six runs on seven hits in the sixth to cruise to a 9-2 victory.
After two hard-fought losses the previous day, Binghamton was able to bounce back and capture its first win in America East play over Stony Brook by a score of 5-2. The Bearcats pitching staff led the way in Saturday’s win. Junior Jake Lambert, now 2-3, provided five solid innings on the mound, allowing only two runs on six hits. Sophomore Jack Rogalla continued to pitch well with three scoreless innings of relief. Rogalla struck out four and allowed only one hit and on walk before junior closer Lee Sosa pitched a perfect ninth inning for his third save of the season.
Thomas went 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. He retains a .338 batting average on the season and is leading the team with 13 RBI. Nevares and Bereszniewicz also had impressive games, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and 2-for-4 with two RBI, respectively.
“The first game was a little bit of a heartbreaker,” Sinicki said. “And the second game they obviously beat us a little bit, but I thought our guys showed a lot of character and grit coming back in Game 3.”
The Bearcats currently sit in fourth place in the America East with a 1-2 conference record. The University of Maine holds first place with a 4-0 conference record, followed by Stony Brook and the University at Albany, each with 2-1 records.
The Bearcats are set to travel to Cornell University to take on the Big Red at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.