Over the weekend, the Binghamton baseball team recorded its first America East (AE) conference win of the season on the road against the UMass Lowell. The Bearcats, however, could not pick up a second win as they fell in the latter two games of the series.
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win the series,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “You win Friday night and you set yourself up for an opportunity to win it and get at least two out of three, but we just couldn’t find a way to get it done yesterday and today so we’re disappointed we only got one this weekend.”
The Bearcats (4-15, 1-5 AE) started the weekend off with a 4-0 win over the River Hawks (7-14, 2-4 AE). Junior pitcher Thomas Babalis threw seven shutout innings, allowing only a single hit and striking out seven. On the offensive side, every Binghamton starter earned a hit while the runs came later in the game. Junior outfielder Colin Mason scored the first run of the game in the sixth inning off of an RBI single from graduate student outfielder Garrett Matheny. Mason tallied three hits in five at bats in game one.
“If you only give up eight runs over the course of three games, you’re pretty happy with your pitching,” Sinicki said. “I thought we did a really good job with starting pitching and bullpen. I really have no problems with what we did this weekend. I’m proud of the guys and their job is to keep us in the ball game and give us a chance to win … When you’re allowing that few runs at college baseball it’s usually a pretty good thing.”
A close second game continued the series on Saturday as BU fell 4-3 in a contest that netted late back-and-forth scoring. Defensively, sophomore pitcher Gabe Driscoll struck out four, but he and sophomore pitcher John Lumpinski each gave up two runs. Despite the loss, the Bearcats had some success behind the plate as junior infielder Cavan Tully and sophomore infielder Andrew Tan each went 2-for-4. Junior catcher Connor Aoki also added two RBIs in this game adding to his team-leading 13 RBIs in 15 games. Tully remains as the team’s most consistent hitter, leading the Bearcats with a .339 batting average.
“[Tully’s] swinging the bat well,” Sinicki said. “He’s been pretty consistent for us from the beginning of the season until where we’re at right now. We’ll need him to continue to be a consistent performer offensively and he’s taken a liking to the leadoff spot, so that seems to fit him well.”
The rubber match of the series ended in a loss for the Bearcats as the team was only able to get one run off of 10 hits. Freshman infielder Devan Bade led Binghamton offensively going 3-for-4 on his at-bats. Matheny, Tully and freshman catcher Evin Sullivan all followed with 2-for-4 performances at the plate. Junior pitcher Ryan Bryggman got the start on the mound, pitching four innings and allowing three runs. Despite dropping the game and the series, the BU bullpen had a standout performance, limiting the damage to only one run among the four of them. Sophomore pitcher Justin Rosner lowered his ERA to 0.68, a team best.
“Today we had 10 hits but only one run, we just couldn’t score or get a big hit when we needed to,” Sinicki said. “To [UMass Lowell’s] credit, they scratched some runs and put enough difference between us and them and they ended up winning the ball game. We just need to be more consistent, especially on offense in terms of trying to be productive with our at-bats. I told the guys after the game today I really don’t care how many hits we have in a game, what’s more important is how many runs.”
The Bearcats return home to play Canisius College in a nonconference game on Tuesday, March 29. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.