The Binghamton baseball team showed signs of hope in its last series against the Old Dominion Monarchs, and that momentum was carried over into its series versus Marshall this weekend. Through heavy wind and rain, the Bearcats (1-6) prevailed on Friday to earn their first win of the season. The weather wasn’t as big of a factor in Saturday’s 15-inning marathon loss, but downpour in West Virginia led to Sunday’s contest being canceled, and the previously winless Bearcats split their series against the Thundering Herd (5-5).
The Bearcats had another weekend of low-scoring affairs, as they only averaged 1.75 runs per game coming into this stretch. The Bearcats needed their bullpen far more than expected this series, as Saturday’s game concluded with a walk-off in the 15th inning.
Binghamton came into Kennedy Center Field in Huntington, West Virginia on Friday riding the coattails of a five-game losing streak to start off the season. In their last series versus Old Dominion, the Bearcats began to show signs of life that was brought with them to the field Friday.
Starting for BU, senior pitcher Nick Gallagher threw five strong innings as he allowed only one run and four hits, but one of those hits was a solo home run by Marshall junior designated hitter Zach Inskeep. Binghamton’s bats continued to be asleep throughout the first half of the ball game, until freshman first baseman Kevin Gsell drew a walk that ignited the offense. After a fielder’s choice, solid base running helped the Bearcats get a runner in scoring position, and senior outfielder Sean Trenholm singled in the game-tying run.
After the ball was placed into the bullpen’s hands, Binghamton’s relievers were able to hold Marshall scoreless over the course of the game, surrendering just five hits over the final four innings. The Bearcats, who haven’t shown their ability to produce offense this season, rallied in the eighth inning behind a leadoff single from sophomore outfielder Shane Marshall. Though there was only one other hit in the inning, the Bearcats’ ability to put the ball in play led to mistakes in the field by the Thundering Herd, and the Bearcats were able to score two runs to go ahead 3-1. Senior pitcher Robert Brown was credited with his first win.
Saturday’s game was played in warmer weather, which was a relative delight to the players involved in a 15-inning, five-hour contest. After allowing a run in the first inning, the Bearcats were able to add one right back in the second when senior infielder Matt Tsukroff belted an RBI double.
At the end of the ninth inning, the game was knotted at two, and another six innings were battled out between the teams. The Bearcats got on the board in the top of the 12th, but were matched in the bottom half of the inning by a Marshall run.
When it came to the 15th inning, the Bearcats’ pitching staff lost all control. After a lead-off double and a single to follow, the Thundering Herd was threatening with runners in scoring position and no outs in the inning. Freshman pitcher Ryan Bryggman was on the mound, and a wild pitch sealed BU’s fate, as the winning run scored from third, ending the five-hour ballgame and handing BU its sixth loss of the season.
Binghamton will be traveling to Lexington, Virginia next weekend to take on the Virginia Military Institute. The first pitch in game one of the three-game series is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday, March 8 from the Gray-Minor Stadium.