Coming off last weekend’s sweep of University of Maryland, Baltimore County and riding a season-best five-game win streak, the Binghamton University baseball team cooled off on Tuesday.
In a doubleheader with Marist College, the Bearcats fell 7-4 in the first game and lost in walk-off fashion in the nightcap, 4-3.
Binghamton took an early 1-0 lead in the opener after senior left fielder Dave Ciocchi knocked an RBI double down the left field line. The Red Foxes answered right back, plating five runs in the bottom of the first inning after a costly BU throwing error. They tacked on one more in the second to take an early 6-1 lead.
Binghamton battled back in the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits to pull back within two, but Marist added another run in the bottom of the frame to push its lead to three going into the fifth.
The Bearcats would load the bases with one out in the seventh, but failed to capitalize as an infield pop-up and a groundout ended the game — a 7-4 Binghamton loss.
Marist out-hit Binghamton 12-6 and held the Bearcats scoreless through the final three innings of play. Freshman Mike Kaufman was tagged with the loss, giving up six hits and five runs, all unearned, in just one inning of work.
Binghamton’s offense was led by Ciocchi and sophomore designated hitter Shaun McGraw. Ciocchi went 2-for-4 on the day with two doubles and an RBI, while McGraw knocked in two runs and collected a hit. Freshman Jake Thomas went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
In the nightcap, the Bearcats once again got out to an early lead. A two-run home run off the bat of Ciocchi put the Bearcats up 2-0 in the first, but Marist was able to even the score in the second.
After two scoreless innings, Binghamton reclaimed the lead in the fifth when junior first baseman Jordon Smucker hit a double down the right field line and was driven in on a single from freshman third baseman Brian Ruby.
Marist quickly came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning, however, to tie the game once again.
In both the seventh and eighth, Binghamton was able to put men on base but failed to capitalize.
In the final inning, Marist won in walk-off fashion on a single up the middle that scored a runner from second base for the 4-3 final.
Ruby went 3-for-4 with an RBI, raising his team-leading average to .426. Ciocchi also drove in two, while Smucker went 3-for-3 with a run scored.
Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki said he didn’t believe the team played as well they could have.
“There were some bright spots, but we are not good enough to have a few bright spots and expect to win games,” he said. “This team needs all phases of the game to be clicking in order to win and reach our goals.”
Binghamton will return to conference play to face The University of Maine on Saturday. The Black Bears are 7-0 in America East play and are riding a 14-game win streak.
“They are a very good ball club and seem to be playing well right now,” Sinicki said. “We’ve had some battles with them in recent years and I expect the same this weekend. Success for us will come with good pitching and defense, along with timely hitting.”
The four-game “home stand” against Maine is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at Cornell University’s Hoy Field. The first game is set to begin at noon on Saturday.