The Binghamton baseball team completed a three-game sweep against Virginia Military Institute over the weekend, holding VMI to only seven runs total throughout the series. The wins extend the Bearcats’ (5-7) winning streak to four games.
“Solid weekend of baseball,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “We played well in all three phases of the game. Back to work on Tuesday to get ready [for] the next series.”
On Friday, Binghamton battled with VMI (4-11) before opening up the score late in the game to secure an 8-2 victory. The Bearcats trailed by one until the sixth inning, when redshirt senior second baseman Alex Baratta singled to center field. Following two wild pitches that allowed Baratta to advance to third, sophomore first baseman Kevin Gsell singled to left field to score Baratta and tie up the game. The score remained tied until the eighth inning when the Bearcats opened up the game with an RBI double from Baratta, scoring junior center fielder Shane Marshall, who walked to lead off the inning and stole second before Baratta brought him in to make it 2-1.
After a slew of wild pitches, Baratta was able to score to make it 3-1. Senior catcher TJ Wegmann, who led the Bearcats with three hits, doubled to right-center and then scored following an RBI single from freshman infielder Andrew Tan to take a 4-1 lead. After VMI scored a run in the bottom of the eighth, the Bearcats’ offense fired on all cylinders and scored four runs in the ninth to seal the victory. Gsell tripled down the line to score three runners, and Wegmann followed with an RBI single to make it 8-2.
Defensively for BU, sophomore pitcher Thomas Babalis pitched seven solid innings, giving up six hits and striking out five batters with just one earned run. Bearcat sophomore Ryan Bryggman pitched the final two innings, striking out the last VMI batter to seal Friday’s victory and earn a save.
Saturday’s game was another all-around solid performance from the Bearcats, who racked up 15 hits and scored in six out of the nine innings to easily roll past VMI 12-3. Binghamton out-hit the Keydets 10-4, with Marshall and Baratta leading the way offensively. Both Marshall and Baratta had three hits and two RBIs a piece. The Bearcats got off to a quick start, with freshman right fielder Tommy Reifler hitting a double down the left-field line to lead off the game and Marshall cracking a double to center to bring Reifler in.
In similar fashion, Baratta singled to center to bring home Marshall, giving Binghamton an early 2-0 lead. The game was quiet from both teams until the fifth, when a sacrifice fly from sophomore infielder Zachary Taylor brought home Gsell to make it 3-1. From there, the Bearcats turned on the jets offensively, scoring two runs in the sixth, three in the seventh, one in the eighth and three in the ninth to total 12 runs, capping off a dominant game at the plate.
On the mound for the Bearcats on Saturday was sophomore pitcher Jack Collins, who held VMI scoreless in five innings pitched and gave up only three hits along the way.
Finally, Binghamton (5-7) capped off the sweep on Sunday with a 7-2 victory. Binghamton opened up the scoring in the third inning. After singles from junior shortstop Jake Evans and junior left fielder Andrew Eng, a double from Marshall scored both to give Binghamton a 2-0 lead that was kept for the whole game.
Binghamton then unloaded offensively in the fifth inning. Marshall and Gsell each recorded RBI singles to make it 4-0. Senior third baseman Justin Drpich continued the scoring spree with a two-run single to center field, slowly putting the game out of reach for VMI. Although VMI recorded two runs in the bottom of the fifth, they were unable to score for the remainder of the game. A ninth-inning RBI single from Baratta made it seven runs scored, which finalized Binghamton’s score in the game.
On the mound for the Bearcats was junior pitcher Josh Kopcza, who allowed only two hits and two runs in five innings pitched. He struck out five batters along the way before freshman pitcher Dylan Gearhart came out of the bullpen. Gearhart held VMI scoreless in his four innings pitched and struck out five to record his first collegiate save.
The Bearcats return to action on Friday, March 13 to begin a four-game series against Towson University. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. from John B. Schuerholz Park in Towson, Maryland.