Following the cancellation of Friday’s game, the Binghamton baseball team participated in two games at home, one against Niagara and one against Central Connecticut State. Both games featured some of the best weather we have seen in Binghamton as of late, and some great ball play. On Saturday, the Bearcats (12-12, 3-2 America East) hosted the Niagara Purple Eagles. BU dominated, winning by a final score of 16-4. On Sunday, BU took on the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut (12-10, 4-3 Northeast Conference), earning itself a narrow victory, 3-2.
“We tried to treat it like just another weekend of conference games,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “So, we put on our lineups that we thought would give us our best chance to win … I thought we put together a really good plan and our guys really executed to get both wins.”
Saturday’s game saw a strong performance from BU from start to finish. The Bearcats did not allow a single run for the first two innings and rallied for seven of their own. While the Purple Eagles (6-20, 2-4 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) were able to score a run during the third inning, Binghamton scored one as well and then added four more in the fourth. By the time the top of the fifth came around, the Bearcats had a 12-1 advantage.
Niagara was unable to score again until the top of the ninth, at which point it recorded three runs to try and put itself in a position to come out on top. This, however, was just not enough to overcome the deficit, and the Bearcats ended the day with a lopsided victory, 16-4.
Sophomore designated hitter Andrew Eng ended the game with five RBIs for the team, which he drove in on three hits, including his first home run of the season.
“It was a good matchup for [Eng],” Sinicki said. “He drove the ball specifically twice, one on the double to right center and then with the home run, so I gave him a chance … and he took advantage of that opportunity, which is all you can ask of your guys.”
Senior pitcher Nick Gallagher allowed just four hits and one run in five innings, striking out four batters. Gallagher was relieved by freshman pitcher Thomas Babalis, who kept the Purple Eagles to one hit in his three innings at the mound.
“He’s been our number-one starter for a few years now,” Sinicki said of Gallagher’s performance. “And he went out and handled the game like you’d expect your number one to. He took advantage of the early lead that we gave him, and he just kept coming at them and didn’t really give them an opportunity to put anything together.”
Sunday’s game against the Blue Devils featured less offensive action than was seen on Saturday, with five runs scored by both teams combined. A scoreless streak was snapped by BU with a single from freshman infielder Zachary Taylor, whose hit allowed redshirt junior infielder Alex Baratta to make it home in the fourth.
The Bearcats earned another run in the fifth and one more during the seventh via a single from sophomore outfielder Shane Marshall, which led to a run scored by sophomore infielder Jake Evans. Central Connecticut, with just one run earned in the fourth and fifth inning, proved unable to keep up.
“It’s nice to see us be able to win in kind of a blowout yesterday, and then in a tight game today,” Sinicki said. “I like the fact that we got the lead and we held the lead. They tried to mount a comeback on a couple of different occasions, but I thought our pitchers did a good job [of holding the lead].”
Junior pitcher Ben Anderson enjoyed the attention of MLB scouts in attendance on Sunday, striking out eight to raise his total strikeouts of the season to 57.
“We’re kind of used to it right now, especially with Ben at the mound,” Sinicki said on the scouts’ presence. “We’ve had scouts pretty much at every game that he’s pitched … we ignore who’s in the stands and why they’re there and just ask our guys to go out and be who they are.”
Binghamton will return to the diamond on Tuesday when they travel to take on Cornell in a one-game slate. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from David F. Hoy Field in Ithaca, New York.