After sweeping Hartford at home over the weekend, the Binghamton baseball team hosted Cornell for a midweek matchup. The Bearcats shut out the Big Red with a collective effort as seven different pitchers threw for the hosts en route to a comfortable 6-0 victory, the team’s sixth in a row.
“When you plan on using that many pitchers like we do in midweek games, in order to be really successful, everybody that comes in has to have their stuff and has to be on,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “That’s a lot to ask at any level. The fact that we were able to get through last night limiting [Cornell] to four hits, no runs and everybody pitched in, I thought that was really great for how our guys have been working.”
Freshman pitcher Dan McAliney got the start on the mound for BU (18-10, 5-1 America East [AE]). The Bearcats blanked Cornell (4-19, 3-6 Ivy League) in the top of the first inning and wasted no time bringing in runs. After getting two men on base, senior first baseman Kevin Gsell drove both in with a single up the middle. A scoreless second inning led to sophomore second baseman Nick Roselli ripping a line drive that had just enough juice to carry over the right field wall, bringing in two runs to double Binghamton’s lead to 4-0.
“We got some big hits when we needed to,” Sinicki said. “[We] not only took the lead but extended it and that helps too when you’re trying to get some other guys some pitches in the game.”
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the hosts managed to load the bases but were unable to bring anyone in. Junior pitcher Justin Rosner pitched the third and fourth innings without allowing a single run and striking out three Cornell batters in the process. Both sides remained stagnant on offense in the fifth as the score remained at 4-0 heading into the second half of the ball game.
The Big Red managed to get a baserunner on in the top of the sixth, and the Cornell opponent attempted to steal second base. However, sophomore catcher Evin Sullivan popped up and gunned down the runner at second to end the inning. The Bearcats capitalized in the bottom of the frame as Roselli hit an RBI single to extend BU’s advantage to 5-0. In the next inning, the hosts added to their total with an RBI double slapped down the third base line by junior outfielder Tommy Reifler.
“[Sullivan] is a big part of this program and he was a big part of our success last year,” Sinicki said. “To get him back in the lineup is important … It’s not just comforting to me and my coaching staff, but I think the players know it as well.”
Cornell threatened to get on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning. The visitors managed to get two on base but were unable to plate any runs as the game entered the final inning at 6-0. In the top of the ninth inning, senior pitcher Jack Collins came in to close the game. Collins shut the door on Cornell with 12 pitches and struck out two of the three Big Red batters he faced.
“I think we did a good job defensively,” Sinicki said. “We made all of the plays that we needed to and it was kind of a nice complete midweek effort for us.”
Binghamton totaled eight hits in the contest with Gsell and Roselli leading the way with two apiece along with two and three RBIs, respectively. Reifler also managed a hit that drove in a run to give the Bearcats a 6-0 win over their in-state opponents. BU has now won 14 of its last 17 games heading into a weekend series against top-ranked Maine who is 9-0 in AE play.
“When we haven’t had one area going, other areas kind of stepped up and helped us out,” Sinicki said. “Everybody in the program, all different areas, whether it’s on offense or defense or pitching, I think we’ve been able to complement each other really nicely over the past few weeks, and I think that’s why we’ve been so successful.”
BU will host Maine for a weekend series starting on Friday, April 14. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.