After losing their first series of the year against Hartford and splitting the second series with UMass Lowell, the Binghamton baseball team were able to win three of four games in their series against Maine. In the final outing of this weekend’s four-game series, the Binghamton baseball team managed to even its record after senior catcher TJ Wegmann recorded an RBI in the 10th inning to put the Bearcats up 3-2 over Maine.
“I think the most impressive thing about the guys this weekend was the fact that they pitched in temperatures and wind chills that were sometimes not even 30 degrees,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “Gripping a baseball, having a good feeling for it and the way we were able to command the strike zone the way we did was really a huge credit to every one of those guys that took the mound this weekend.”
Under cold weather conditions on Saturday, Binghamton’s 10th-inning winner came off a strong day of pitching against the Black Bears (8-7, 3-4 America East). Junior pitcher Josh Kopcza started the game and pitched six innings for BU (5-5, 5-5 AE) while allowing one run and striking out four. However, Maine still managed to tie the game in the eighth inning and force play to continue after BU failed to expand on its two-run total. Wegmann’s RBI secured the win for the Bearcats.
In contrast, Binghamton struggled offensively in its first game of the series on Friday, mustering only three hits in seven innings of play. While sophomore pitcher Thomas Babalis pitched five innings and struck out out 10 batters, the Bearcats were unable to reward his efforts in a 2-0 loss in game one of the doubleheader.
Binghamton flipped the switch, however, in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader. The game remained close through seven innings, but Binghamton scored five unanswered runs in the last two, securing an 8-3 victory. Wegmann led the Bearcats at the plate, recording a team-high three RBIs while sophomore pitcher Ryan Bryggman started the game on the mound, who pitched five innings and struck out three batters.
In Saturday’s first game, sophomore pitcher Jack Collins pitched a complete game against Maine, striking out seven and allowing only three hits. Although the Bearcats struggled at bat, they were able to take advantage of Maine’s mistakes, scoring on an error and a wild pitch in the sixth inning. Sophomore first baseman Kevin Gsell led the offense, going 2-2 overall at the plate while driving in two runs and walking twice, while Collins’ work at the mound helped BU shutout the Black Bears in a 5-0 win.
“With time we get better as a team defensively with more repetitions,” Sinicki said. “We’re playing catch up. We didn’t get a chance to play any nonconference games this year. We’re still trying to catch up on live at-bats and the game itself. We did it with all three phases in game two, we had timely hits, we played good defense and the pitching was really good. When we do all those things together, we’re a pretty good ball club.”
BU returns home next weekend to host Albany on Saturday, April 10 and Sunday, April 11. First pitch is scheduled for noon on Saturday at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton, New York.