A rocky start gave way to a strong finish for the Binghamton baseball team this weekend, opening America East play in a three-game series at Stony Brook.
After taking two of three from VMI last weekend, the Bearcats (4-8, 1-2 AE) were unable to carry the momentum into Sunday’s doubleheader. Binghamton dropped the first two games of the series against Stony Brook (6-9, 2-1 AE), 8-3 and 6-3, respectively, before roaring back to defeat the Seawolves, 13-2, in Monday’s finale.
The series was originally scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, with two games to be played on Saturday. However, the opening doubleheader was postponed to Sunday due to rain, while the final game was then rescheduled for Monday.
The Bearcats got off to a fast start offensively on Monday. Junior second baseman Reed Gamache tripled to center field with runners on second and third to drive in two runs. Later in the first inning, sophomore first baseman Brendan Skidmore delivered with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Gamache to put the score at 3-0.
While Stony Brook was able to reduce the lead to two runs in the bottom of the second, the offensive effort proved to be too little. Binghamton junior third baseman David Schanz hit an infield single to begin what would become a 10-run rally. The Bearcats took advantage of a slew of errors and poor pitching from Stony Brook junior starter Tim Knesnik, who was replaced after just 2.2 innings pitched.
The remainder of the game was quiet offensively with both Binghamton and Stony Brook bullpens allowing no earned runs. The Bearcat winning pitcher, senior Greg Ostner, pitched five innings and allowed just two earned runs en route to BU’s 13-2 victory.
The opener of Sunday’s doubleheader featured a duel between Binghamton ace junior Rob Hardy and Stony Brook junior southpaw Tyler Honahan. Both teams were held scoreless until the Seawolves broke through in the bottom of the fifth, at which point junior outfielder Jack Parenty singled to left, driving in runs from second and third base to give the Seawolves a two-run advantage.
After the fifth, fatal errors and inferior pitching doomed the Bearcats, who allowed a total of four unearned runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Stony Brook was able to tally eight runs with just eight hits to defeat BU, 8-3.
Game two of Sunday’s doubleheader saw Binghamton take an early 1-0 lead with a triple from senior center fielder Zach Blanden followed by a Gamache RBI single up the middle. Binghamton’s lead expired at the bottom of the second, however. Consecutive triples from Stony Brook freshman designated hitter Bobby Honeyman — who scored runners from second and third — and sophomore shortstop Jeremy Giles, gave Stony Brook a 3-1 lead.
Binghamton scored one run in both the fourth and fifth innings featuring a second RBI from Gamache. With the game tied at three, BU junior pitcher Mike Bunal struggled his way through three batters, committing an error that allowed Giles to reach scoring position. Sophomore reliever Nick Liegi took over for Bunal and gave up five runs on four hits. Stony Brook was able to capitalize on the error, driving in Giles and two more, to gain the lead, 6-3.
Despite scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings, Binghamton couldn’t capitalize. The Bearcats left four runners on base, three of whom were in scoring position.
Despite falling, 6-3, the Bearcats out-hit the Seawolves by a 10-6 margin. Additionally, Gamache went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the game, while batting 7 for 13 with six RBIs in the series.
Next up for the Bearcats is a three-game series against Villanova, with single games scheduled from Friday through Sunday.
Opening pitch of Friday’s contest is set for 3:15 p.m with the following two games each beginning at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. All games will take place at the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth in Plymouth Township, Pennsylvania.