After being swept in its season-opening game against New Mexico, the Binghamton baseball team reversed its misfortunes over the weekend. The Bearcats (3-3) swept Toledo in a two-game series before defeating Richmond on Sunday.
The Bearcats’ bats unleashed havoc against the opposing pitchers, totaling 31 runs and 35 hits. Impressive performances from Binghamton’s starting pitchers complemented a solid offensive display. Each logged five innings apiece while limiting Toledo to six runs in two games and shutting out Richmond.
“This early in the season, you’re just trying to get better every time you get a chance to compete,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “We played better this weekend than last weekend. We’re far from perfect; we’re far from where we want to be, but it was a good effort.”
In the series opener on Friday against Toledo (1-6), the Bearcats fell behind early. An RBI double followed a leadoff single to give Toledo the 1-0 advantage in the first inning. The Rockets added an additional run in both the second and third innings via a two-out error and a solo home run.
It took until the sixth inning for BU to rally. With two outs and the bases loaded, redshirt sophomore third baseman Justin Yurchak singled, scoring two and tying the game at three. Following a pitching change by Toledo, junior outfielder Pat Britt greeted the new arm with a two-RBI single to give Binghamton a lead it would not relinquish. The Bearcats would add two more insurance runs to take the opener, 7-3.
Senior starting pitcher Jake Cryts logged five solid innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out six. His effort kept the Bearcats in the game despite some shaky defense, but junior pitcher Joe Orlando earned the win thanks to four nearly flawless innings of relief.
In the second contest of the weekend, Binghamton wasted little time. With the help of two home runs in the first two innings, the Bearcats jumped out to a 5-1 lead. Junior outfielder CJ Krowiak and junior shortstop Paul Rufo each went deep with their first home runs of the year.
Sophomore pitcher Nick Gallagher silenced the Toledo offense with seven strikeouts and two runs over five innings. Sophomore pitcher Cal Lawrence and freshman pitcher Ben Anderson threw four solid innings in relief, limiting the Rockets to one run. Binghamton added four more runs in the final two innings to put the game away and cruising to a 9-3 victory.
On Sunday, the Bearcats exploded for 15 runs in a blowout victory over the Spiders (3-4). Against Richmond, BU’s offense exploded for four or more runs twice.
Junior starting pitcher Nick Wegmann continued a strong weekend by Binghamton starting pitchers. He limited Richmond to only three hits in five innings, while striking out nine, putting his rough season debut in the rearview mirror. BU’s hot bats and stout pitching carried the team to a 15-0 victory.
“Nick [Wegmann] did a great job today,” Sinicki said. “It was probably his best performance since he has been on campus.”
Yurchak tallied another stellar weekend at the plate. Spearheading the offense, he batted 9-for-13 in the series and drove in five runs. He raised his batting average to a jaw-dropping .692.
“It’s hard to describe really,” Sinicki said. “He’s not only getting a lot of hits, but he’s getting hard outs as well. One thing that has really impressed me … is his discipline at the plate, he just doesn’t chase bad pitches and he really makes the pitchers work.”
The Bearcats will look to extend the winning streak when they head to Virginia Tech on Friday for a rare four-game series. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. from English Field at Union Park in Blacksburg, Virginia.