After opening the season with a three-game sweep at the hands of Wofford, the Binghamton baseball team was looking to rebound against Florida Atlantic this weekend in Boca Raton, Florida. However, the Bearcats (0-6) were swept once again, falling in a single game on Friday and a doubleheader on Sunday.
In the first game of the series, FAU (7-0) won on a walkoff sacrifice fly to right field. The Bearcats outhit the Owls 12 to 8 and had an 8-2 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. However, Binghamton’s ace sophomore pitcher Thomas Babalis was pulled from the game after 6.0 innings pitched, and BU’s trio of relief pitchers surrendered seven unanswered runs to Florida Atlantic, six of them coming in the bottom of the eighth. The game-winning sacrifice fly was hit by sophomore outfielder Mitchell Hartigan, and the Owls handed Binghamton its second consecutive walk off loss.
Binghamton’s offense was led by senior catcher TJ Wegmann and redshirt senior right fielder Daniel Franchi, who both homered in the game. In Babalis’ six innings pitched, he gave up two runs on three hits in his second appearance of the season. Babalis also struck out five hitters during the night.
Binghamton had time to think over what went wrong on Friday night when rain canceled Saturday’s game, and on Sunday morning, the Bearcats played a doubleheader to close out the series. In game one, BU fell to the Owls by a final score of 9-4. Binghamton’s starting pitcher, sophomore Jack Collins, gave up one run on three hits in his 3.2 innings pitched. In the top of the fourth inning, Binghamton junior infielder Jake Evans hit into a fielder’s choice, and senior infielder Justin Drpich scored on a resulting throwing error to tie the game at one. Binghamton added another run during the top of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead.
However, during the next two innings, Florida Atlantic scored six runs to take a lead they wouldn’t give up for the rest of the game. FAU scored four before the Bearcats recorded the first out in the bottom of the fifth. Senior pitcher Greg Satriale gave up all four runs in the frame and was pulled after only a third of an inning pitched in the contest. BU and the Owls each recorded two runs in the seventh inning, closing out the scoring for the game and sealing the victory for the Owls.
The nightcap of the doubleheader resulted in another loss for the Bearcats, as they fell 11-4. Binghamton outhit the Owls again, but left 10 runners on base during the second game of the doubleheader. Junior pitcher Josh Kopcza got the start for BU and gave up four runs, four hits and four walks over the span of three innings. Binghamton tied the game at one apiece during the top of the fourth inning, when sophomore infielder Zachary Taylor hit an RBI double that brought redshirt senior infielder Alex Baratta home. However, during the bottom of the inning, the Owls scored three runs to take a 4-1 lead. BU scored one run in the fifth and sixth inning, but the Owls scored five runs in the sixth to widen their lead to a large margin.
Evans continued his strong play in the series by going 3-for-4 during the finale, including an RBI and a run scored. He went 8-13 over the three games.
Binghamton is looking to rebound and claim its first win of the season in an upcoming three-game series against Longwood University next weekend. First pitch in the opener on Friday, Feb. 28 is set for 3 p.m. at Buddy Bolding Stadium in Farmville, Virginia.