After a weekend sweep of its America East (AE) Conference rivals, the Hartford Hawks, the Binghamton baseball team failed to extend its four-game winning streak in two nonconference games, dropping both contests. On a chilly, cloudy Tuesday afternoon, the Bearcats (18-19, 8-6 AE) squared off with the visiting St. Bonaventure Bonnies, and were defeated 1-0. On Wednesday evening, Binghamton faltered against the Cornell Big Red, 5-2.
The Bonnies (11-24, 5-10 A10) came into Tuesday’s game looking to right the ship after an abysmal stretch of baseball, going 1-7 over their previous eight matches. Binghamton entered the stint riding a four-game winning streak in which it had held opponents to an average of a single run per game.
One of the most reliable aspects of the Bearcats this season has been their ability to get quality pitching from a variety of contributors.
“I just tell them to go out there and put us in a position to win a ballgame and then they’ve done their job,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “They’ve done it all year, but recently they have been really, really good. I’m happy with where we’re at with our contributions. We’re getting contributions from a lot of different guys which is good to see.”
Tuesday’s ballgame featured sophomore pitcher Luke Dziados on the mound for the Bearcats. Dziados threw five innings, allowing just one earned run and five hits and striking out three batters. The earned run came in the first inning, when St. Bonaventure sophomore first baseman Matthew Williams laced an RBI single into left field. St. Bonaventure’s first inning run was the difference in a 1-0 victory that featured only 10 combined hits.
“I can’t adjust, [our hitters] have to adjust,” Sinicki said. “Hitters have to do a better job with their at-bats and have more quality at-bats. I thought that at some points yesterday we chased some first pitches in at-bats which lead to some easy outs for them. I thought in other instances we chased pitches that were not competitive with two strikes … have good at-bats when you’re in the box and execute assignments.”
The Bearcats were able to tally more hits in Wednesday’s showdown with Cornell (12-22, 6-12 Ivy League), but their offense was still incapable of producing enough runs to capture the victory. The Bearcats had a 2-0 lead after an RBI walk for senior outfielder Anthony Meduri in the first and an RBI single from freshman first basemen Kevin Gsell in the third, but these were the only two runs Binghamton was able to generate.
Prior to first pitch on Wednesday, Sinicki praised BU’s defensive prowess over the course of the season.
“Defensively, I think we have been good all season,” Sinicki said. “We really do a good job of running down some balls in the outfield. Infield play has been good as well, and again, it kind of goes hand and hand with this pitching. If you pitch well and play good defense, you’re going to give yourself a chance to win.”
Unfortunately for Binghamton, its defense was not sharp enough in the second midweek meeting. An error in the top of the fifth inning by redshirt junior outfielder Daniel Franchi allowed three Cornell runs to score. The Big Red added two more runs in the top of the ninth, and the Bearcats were defeated, 5-2.
This upcoming weekend, Binghamton travels to Baltimore, Maryland to take on AE rival UMBC. With only four more AE games left to play after this upcoming series, the Bearcats hope to gain ground on first-place Stony Brook, while the Retrievers (20-23, 6-12 AE) attempt to dig themselves out of last place.
First pitch in game one of the three-game series is set for noon on Saturday, May 4 from Baseball Factory Field in Baltimore, Maryland.