After being idle for the past two weeks, the Binghamton baseball team was handily swept in a three-game series against Radford over the weekend. The series, originally scheduled to be played at Radford University in Virginia, was moved to McNair Field in Forest City, North Carolina due to poor field conditions.
The Bearcats (1-5) dropped both games of Saturday’s double-header after the Highlanders (5-4) jumped on the scoreboard early and often, tallying a combined total of 11 runs in the games’ first three innings.
Saturday’s opener saw Radford rack up 13 hits in its 7-1 victory over the Bearcats. Senior outfielder Zach Blanden led the team with two hits and delivered the only Bearcat RBI in a game that saw only four hits recorded by the entire BU squad. Overall, Binghamton was struck out 11 times.
After BU senior pitcher Greg Ostner gave up nine hits and five earned runs in just three innings pitched, senior Anthony Grillini and freshman Matt Gordon entered on the hill and fared better, allowing a combined four hits and no earned runs in five total innings.
Radford’s winning pitcher, junior Michael Boyle, overpowered the Bearcats by striking out 10 of 24 batters faced, while allowing only three hits.
From the start of BU’s 16-4 loss in Saturday’s nightcap, BU junior Mike Bunal — coming off of a brilliant victory over Auburn — appeared rattled. Bunal balked and forced in the first run after loading the bases and then allowed a second run to score off of a passed ball. Radford senior infielder Hunter Higgerson then doubled to bring in two more runs, prompting Bunal’s removal from the game without recording an out. BU responded by scoring three runs in the third inning on an RBI ground out by Blanden, followed by RBI doubles from junior infielder David Schanz and senior outfielder Jake Thomas. The comeback came up short, however, as Radford racked up five runs in both the fifth and eighth innings to secure a victory.
On Sunday, the Highlanders completed the three-game sweep, overwhelming BU, 8-3. Radford scored seven runs in the third through sixth innings and scored one run in the ninth to end its high-scoring weekend.
BU attempted to rally in the sixth inning, scoring a run off of a double from Thomas and an RBI single from sophomore catcher Eddie Posavec. BU’s third run came in the seventh when Blanden scored on a wild pitch, but that would be all the offense Binghamton mustered for the game.
There were a few bright spots in an otherwise listless game for the Bearcats, however. Blanden went 3 for 5 at the plate and scored two runs while both Posavec and freshman shortstop Paul Rufo recorded two hits apiece.
The Bearcats are set to return to action against Virginia Military Institute in a three-game series this weekend. First pitch of Friday’s game is scheduled for 4 p.m. at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Virginia.