On a beautiful day for baseball in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, the Binghamton baseball team came up short in its one-game nonconference battle against the Bucknell Bison, 6-4.
After a 0-5 start to the season, the Bearcats (10-12, 3-2 America East) quickly worked their way to become close to the .500 mark on the season, winning 10 of their next 16 games. In its last series versus the Albany Great Danes, Binghamton won two out of three contests, with the last two games both being taken by hefty margins. However, the team could not carry its recent success into its contest against the Bison (9-21, 3-8 Patriot League).
After scoring double-digit runs in its past two games, Binghamton’s offense had a more pedestrian day at the plate against the Bison. The Bearcats had seven hits and scored four runs in their loss Wednesday afternoon at Depew Field.
“We didn’t exactly have the same lineup we may start against an American East team today,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “But that didn’t necessarily cost us the ballgame.”
After Binghamton scored two runs in the top half of the first, Bucknell was able to cut its deficit in half during the bottom portion of the inning. BU sophomore pitcher Luke Dziados pitched only 3.2 innings, surrendering five hits during his outing. Dziados gave up just one earned run, as two runs came in the bottom of the second inning on account of an error by sophomore shortstop Jake Evans.
“Well, I thought it was good enough to win,” Sinicki said of his pitching staff’s performance. “Unfortunately, there was a defensive miscue that cost us a couple of runs early, but I thought overall that the eight innings we got from our pitchers were pretty high quality and I thought it was good enough to win today.”
Bucknell junior pitcher Jack Simpson only lasted four innings himself and allowed two earned runs, but he was able to strike out six Bearcat batters in his time at the mound. The Bearcats and the Bison both had to rely on their bullpens for a majority of the game, as neither starting pitcher saw action past the fifth inning.
The Bearcats were able to put up a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Redshirt junior outfielder Daniel Franchi started the rally with a one-out single past Bucknell’s third baseman. The next batter, sophomore outfielder Shane Marshall, belted an RBI triple to knot the ballgame at three runs apiece. Marshall scored from third on a sacrifice fly to right field hit by BU senior outfielder Sean Trenholm.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bison began their hunt for runs against the Bearcat freshman reliever Ryan Bryggman. After retiring the first batter, a single and a walk put Bucknell junior infielder Alex Baumann in scoring position. Bryggman was able to record the second out of the inning, but subsequently surrendered back-to-back hits, and the Bison were able to plate three batters in the sixth. Bryggman was replaced by freshman reliever Dom Dirado, who was able to finish the inning without allowing another run.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Bearcats were able to get two base runners on board with two outs due to consecutive walks by Bucknell senior reliever Jeff Gottesman. Gottesman, however, was able to retire the side after the walks, and the Bearcats were incapable of getting another runner in scoring position for the rest of the ballgame. In the end, Binghamton fell in a highly contested game, 6-4.
“I thought we did some good things,” Sinicki said. “We made some good plays on defense, we had some timely hitting and I thought we got some good innings on the mound from some guys who haven’t thrown a lot from us. But sometimes in baseball, it’s just not enough.”
Next up for the Bearcats is a home game against Central Connecticut State on Friday, April 5. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.