Starting off the season with a 1-3 record, the BU men’s baseball team was hoping for improved results on its road trip to North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) for a three-game series. But instead, the Bearcats (1-6) were swept by the Spartans (5-2) over the course of the weekend, falling to 1-6 to start the season.
“We just didn’t play well, and I really don’t have an explanation for why we played the way we did,” BU head coach Tim Sinicki said. “It’s just one of those things we’ll have to learn from, shake off and get ready for the next series.”
In Friday’s season opener, the Bearcats squandered an 8-2 lead to eventually lose the game 10-9. Following a devastating seven-run sixth inning by UNCG, the Spartans held on after their six-run comeback.
BU did not fare any better the following day, dropping its second showdown with UNCG, 5-2. The two sides were neck and neck for a large portion of the afternoon, but a two-out, two-run UNCG double in the sixth inning created the necessary breathing room for the hosts to see out the game unimpeded.
While the first two matchups were close contests, the same cannot be said for the series finale. UNCG pummeled the Bearcats, putting up a seven-run second inning and nine-run sixth inning en route to a commanding 19-4 victory.
“Our biggest issue was our inability to hold onto a lead,” Sinicki said. “We let that [Friday] game slip away and it had a pretty big impact the rest of the two games. Saturday was a very competitive game. They threw a very good arm and I thought we did a good job on the mound. But yesterday, it was just kind of a disaster.”
While this road trip was certainly a forgettable one, there were some bright spots in Binghamton’s performance. Senior third baseman David Schanz went an impressive six for 13 over the course of the series, further adding to his team-leading .379 batting average.
“He’s a four-year senior and that’s what you want out of those guys, he’s been through a lot with this program,” Sinicki said. “Right now, he’s proving to everyone that he’s a young man who we can rely on, both offensively and defensively.”
BU’s season has failed to warm up so far, which is something that Coach Sinicki has attributed to the weather in Binghamton, which has prevented the team from practicing outside. So far, matching up against teams from Texas and North Carolina, the Bearcats are at a disadvantage from a training standpoint.
“It’s basically trying to play a game that’s meant to be played outside, while practicing inside,” Sinicki said. “It’s not ideal when you’re playing in the Northeast, when you practice for three, four days inside a gym and inside batting cages and then you go to a team who’s practicing outside.”
BU is set to return to action when they take on Virginia Military Institute in its next series. First pitch of the series is set for 3 p.m. on Friday from Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Virginia.