The Binghamton baseball team caught fire over spring break, taking six of its seven contests and outscoring its opponents by an aggregate 61-36 mark. The Bearcats (10-13, 5-6 America East) went 4-1 against America East rivals UMass Lowell and Hartford, while handily defeating Cornell and out-surviving Canisius in a five-hour, 11-inning contest.
The Bearcats jumped out of the blocks strong by sweeping a doubleheader with UMass Lowell (7-16, 3-5 AE) in Ithaca on Monday. This twinbill was a condensed, rescheduled and relocated series, which was initially to be played in Binghamton. However, due to perpetual poor field conditions, Binghamton has yet to host a game.
The first game against UMass Lowell ended in a 5-4 win for the Bearcats. Down 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, the Bearcats manufactured two runs. Freshman pinch hitter Chris McGee’s lead-off hit sparked the rally, followed by freshman infielder Paul Rufo’s sacrifice, senior outfielder Zach Blanden’s single, junior infielder David Schanz’s bunt single, senior outfielder Jake Thomas’ RBI sacrifice fly out and junior infielder Reed Gamache’s RBI single to secure BU’s victory.
Sophomore catcher Eddie Posavec’s and sophomore first baseman Brendan Skidmore’s two RBIs apiece led the Bearcats to an 8-0 thrashing of UMass Lowell in the second game of the day. Junior pitcher Mike Bunal, who did not allow a run in his five innings pitched, earned the victory.
The Bearcats took Hoy Field again on Tuesday, but this time to face host Cornell (9-20, 6-6 Ivy). The teams were locked at two runs each until the eighth inning. At that point, Schanz and Thomas both doubled, and Gamache and McGee each singled, bringing the Bearcats to a total of seven runs on the day. Binghamton allowed just one more run en route to its 7-3 victory.
Wednesday’s game against Canisius (16-20, 8-4 Metro Atlantic) was no pitchers’ duel. The 11-inning game, which lasted for over five hours, concluded with Binghamton and Canisius racking up a combined 33 runs and 27 hits.
The Bearcats took an early lead in the second inning and then exchanged leads with Canisius five times thoughout the game. The sixth pitcher to take the mound for BU, freshman Jake Erhard took the ball in the 10th and downed six batters in a row. He struck out three of the six men he faced and was awarded his first win, after holding the three-run cushion that the Bearcats provided him in the top of the 11th.
The Bearcats concluded their busy, seven-game spring break with a win in a three-game series at Hartford (12-18, 5-5 AE).
Binghamton split a Saturday doubleheader, dropping the opener 7-6 in 10 innings. Posavec hit a three-run homerun in the top of the sixth to give Binghamton a 5-1 lead. But the Bearcats couldn’t hold on. Hartford steadily cut into the advantage and tied the game in the eighth, scoring on an error. Hawks freshman Nick Campana singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th.
The Bearcats took the nightcap, 8-4. The Hawks jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first, but Binghamton responded with four runs in the fourth inning. Gamache then incited Binghamton’s scoring with a two-run double. Hartford tied the score in the bottom of the fourth, but the Bearcats regained the lead in the fifth when McGee scored on a double from Blanden. Thomas then singled in Blanden, giving the Bearcats a two-run lead. Both Blanden and Thomas rounded out the night with solo homers in the seventh, bringing Binghamton’s run total to eight to close the win for BU, 8-4.
Binghamton took the rubber game of the series, 9-3, on Sunday afternoon after a pair of dominant innings in the sixth and seventh. Blanden again showed his prowess at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one RBI. Schanz and Skidmore added two RBIs to lead the Bearcats to victory.
The Bearcats are set to return to action Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader against Marist. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. from the Baseball Complex, with a second game following shortly afterward.