Possibly obtaining too many pointers from the New York Mets, the Binghamton baseball team was swept in its season-opening series in Port St. Lucie, Florida, the site of the Amazins’ spring training. The Bearcats (0-3) fell to No. 17 Michigan in three consecutive games with scores of 10-0, 5-4 and 12-2, respectively.
In the first game of the three-match stretch, the Wolverines (3-0) dominated BU from the batter’s box, as the team poured in runs in every inning except the third. Senior infielder Jimmy Kerr collected three RBIs, including a home run to center field in the eighth, in five plate appearances on Friday.
Despite a lopsided shutout, the Bearcats still managed seven hits with eight runners left stranded on the day. Redshirt junior left fielder Daniel Franchi had a team-high two hits as he logged singles in both the first and fifth innings.
While Binghamton went on to suffer another blowout defeat in the final game of the series, BU put up more of a fight in the second contest. The Bearcats tallied their first run of the season when Franchi scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning.
The team was hanging onto a 4-4 tie when Michigan broke the stalemate in the bottom of the eighth inning. After senior infielder Blake Nelson advanced from first to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch, sophomore infielder Jack Blomgren lined an RBI single up the middle to break the tie. Despite the 5-4 victory, Michigan racked up five errors on the day.
Although the Bearcats were outmatched in the final game, the team remained competitive for at least four innings of ball. BU only had a two-run deficit through the first half of the game before the Wolverines turned up the gas with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Even though junior catcher TJ Wegmann slimmed the differential to four runs with an RBI double in the top of the seventh, Michigan opened the floodgates with six runs in the eighth.
Binghamton finished the weekend with 22 runners stranded and only six runs scored. Michigan pitchers struck out Binghamton 32 times over the three-game span, as junior southpaw Tommy Henry struck out nine in six innings and junior right-handed pitcher Karl Kauffman tacked on 10 over eight innings.
Up next for the Bearcats is a nonconference series against Old Dominion University. The Monarchs (1-2) took just one game in their opening three-game series against High Point this past weekend.
The Bearcats will look to get their first victory of the season when they face ODU on Feb. 22. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex in Norfolk, Virginia.