Over the weekend, the Binghamton baseball team took on UMBC at home for a three-game series. BU took games one and two, but were unable to complete the sweep on Sunday. The series win marked its fourth-straight America East (AE) series win of the season.
“The goal every weekend is to win a series, and it’s very difficult at any level of baseball to sweep a team,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “Happy that we won the series, disappointed [in] the way we played [on Sunday]… You walk away with a series win and you move on to the next series at hand.”
The Bearcats (15-22,11-10 AE) boosted their conference record over .500 with the series victory over the Retrievers (18-24, 8-13 AE) and have won five out of their last six conference games. Senior shortstop Jake Evans led the way offensively as he went 5-for-10 in the series and raised his batting average in conference games to .472 this season.
In game one, BU was on the board in the first inning when junior catcher Connor Aoki scored on a wild pitch. The home team expanded its lead in the third inning after a Bearcat scored by walking with the bases loaded followed by Evans notching a two-run single to take a four-run advantage. Junior pitcher Thomas Babalis threw six shutout innings, struck out five batters and only allowed four hits. Sophomore pitcher John Lumpinski earned the save after relieving Babalis in the seventh.
“Aoki’s proven to be a bit of a power guy and a gap guy for us,” Sinicki said. “[Junior outfielder Cavan Tully] and [freshman outfielder Logan Haskell] have been doing a good job setting the table for us, and guys like Evans, all of the sudden, have been having a good back-half of the season offensively.”
In the second game, the Bearcats again jumped out to an early lead as they scored two runs in the first inning due to a sacrifice fly and a single. In the third inning, freshman catcher Evin Sullivan blasted a solo home run to take a 3-0 lead. This homer marked Sullivan’s fifth of the season. Unlike the first game, however, the Retrievers battled back into the game as they plated two runs in the fourth inning. Binghamton responded in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run single from Haskell. BU added an insurance run in the sixth when Sullivan collected his third RBI of the game before UMBC added two more runs to its total in the seventh and eighth innings. The Retriever push wasn’t enough as Binghamton won game two 6-4.
“Sullivan’s been really good for us in the four spot,” Sinicki said. “It’s Sullivan who’s done the most damage for us during this hot streak that we’re on.”
In the final game of the series, the Bearcats were unable to keep the Retrievers’ offense at bay. The away team broke through with 17 hits in a 12-7 rout of Binghamton. UMBC scored three runs in the second and two more in the third to take control early. They plated three more in the fifth before BU put its first run on the board. Binghamton scored five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to mount the comeback.
“We’re gonna pitch a bunch of guys again this week,” Sinicki said. “Obviously we really wanna win the game… But we can’t lose sight of the big picture, which is we want to give opportunities to some of our guys, especially pitching, who don’t get a chance to pitch on the weekends.”
The Bearcats will remain at home for their next game against Cornell on Tuesday, May 3. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.