The Binghamton University baseball team will look to pick up where it left off last weekend when it travels to Bethlehem, Pa. for a four-game series against the Lehigh University Mountain Hawks. The Bearcats erased the zero from their win column this past weekend, taking three of four games at the Big 5 Bash in Philadelphia.
Earlier this week, the conference announced that BU senior pitcher Mike Augliera was selected as the America East Pitcher of the Week for his performance against Saint Joseph’s University last week. Augliera recorded 11 strikeouts and zero walks in Binghamton’s 7-0 victory on Friday. He allowed two hits in the top of the first inning, but left runners stranded on second and third after getting a strikeout to end the inning.
It was smooth sailing for Augliera from then on out as he struck out the side in the second and proceeded to retire the Mountain Hawks in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings. After a fielding error allowed a runner to reach first in the seventh inning, Augliera forced the next batter he faced into a double play to end the inning. He then retired all six batters in order in the eighth and ninth innings.
On the season, Augliera has struck out 20 and walked only one through 21 innings of action. He retains an impressive 1.29 ERA and opponents have hit just .149 off him.
“Mike has been outstanding in all three starts so far this season,” BU head coach Tim Sinicki said. “But last Friday, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Binghamton pitcher in total control of a game the way he was.”
As for the upcoming series against Lehigh, Sinicki said hopes his squad continues its winning ways that it established in Philadelphia.
“My hope is that we continue to play better each and every time we take the field,” he said. “And that we can build some momentum off of last weekend’s three-win performance.”
Lehigh (5-13) is coming off of a 6-3 victory over Saint Joseph’s University in which the Mountain Hawks rallied in the late innings to take the lead and, ultimately, the game. Lehigh finished the game with 10 hits, seven of them coming after the fifth inning.
Lehigh senior and pitching ace Cory Kent could prove to be a threat to Binghamton both on the mound and at the plate. Although Kent has only had a total of five at-bats, he retains a .400 batting average with two hits, one home run and four RBI. He also leads the Mountain Hawks pitching staff with a 2.45 ERA on the season, allowing 16 hits and five earned runs while recording 23 strikeouts over 18.1 innings of play.
Mountain Hawks sophomore catcher Joe Abeln could also give the Bearcats some trouble from the batter’s box. Abeln holds a .341 batting average through 41 at-bats, producing 14 hits, three doubles and a team leading 10 RBI.
Rounding off Lehigh’s top-three offensive players is sophomore first baseman/designated hitter Tyler Brong. After 55 at-bats, Brong boasts a .327 batting average. He has driven in seven runs on the season with 18 hits and four doubles, a team-best.
“Lehigh is a solid program and will be another good test for us as we prepare for conference play in April,” Sinicki said.
The Bearcats and Mountain Hawks are set to play two doubleheaders, the first of which is scheduled to kick off at noon on Saturday. The second set of games is set to begin at noon on Sunday.