Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Binghamton baseball team led UMass Lowell 1-0 on Sunday. With sophomore third baseman Justin Drpich at the plate and runners on the corners, Drpich dropped an 0-1 pitch down for a sacrifice squeeze, as the runner on third took off for home. The go-ahead run gave the Bearcats (9-15, 5-4 America East) some much-needed breathing room as the team looked to complete the sweep and was ultimately successful.
Coming into Saturday, the Bearcats knew that they would have two games ahead of them in inclement weather. Nevertheless, junior starter Nick Gallagher pitched six strong innings for the Bearcats in game one and senior starter Nick Wegmann pitched all seven innings of game two, not allowing a single run on four hits. The Bearcats won both these games.
“What makes it even more rewarding are the conditions that they had to play in,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki.
BU took an early edge in game one of the doubleheader as senior catcher Jason Agresti singled, but an error in the outfield allowed two unearned runs to cross the plate. The River Hawks cut the lead in half with an RBI groundout in the top of the fourth. However, a wild pitch in the bottom half of the inning allowed Agresti to cross the plate and a double later in the inning put the Bearcats on top, 4-1. Later in the seventh, Drpich doubled and then scored to give Binghamton a 5-1 victory.
Game two started slowly, but in the third inning Agresti came up big, notching an RBI single to center. Powered by a dominant pitching performance by Wegmann, UMass Lowell was held scoreless for the rest of the game. In the bottom of the fifth, senior shortstop Paul Rufo gave his squad a cushion as he knocked a single up the middle, plating two more runs.
After securing 5-1 and 3-0 wins the prior day, the Bearcats looked to sweep the series Sunday. Coming into Sunday, redshirt senior pitcher Jacob Wloczewski had yet to earn a victory this season, but threw seven innings while only allowing one run on three hits. He recorded his first win of the year, putting his record at 1-4.
Starting things off for the Bearcats’ offense in the second inning, senior outfielder Pat Britt earned an RBI single.
Things remained calm up until Drpich stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth. His sacrifice squeeze, on which he ended up being safe at first base, gave the Bearcats’ bats the spark they needed to ignite. Although they only scored that run in the sixth, after Lowell retaliated with a run of its own in the top of the seventh, the Bearcats posted four runs in both the bottom half of the seventh and the eighth, respectively.
“They kinda smelled the fact that we were close to sweeping a team,” Sinicki said. “That’s rare in conference play.”
To lead off the seventh, senior center fielder CJ Krowiak hit a solo shot to left. Later in the inning, Britt hit a three-run homer to bring his RBI total to four and the score to 6-1. The following inning, a comedy of errors fell upon the River Hawks’ pitching staff. Despite allowing only one hit, it walked four and threw three wild pitches, allowing the Bearcats to pile on the runs. The final score was 10-2, as the Bearcats completed the sweep.
“I thought they all did a great job, commanding the strike zone, getting ahead of hitters and really executing their pitches,” Sinicki said. “A lot of a team’s success or lack of success begins with starting pitchers and I thought they set the tone for the entire weekend in each game.”
Binghamton is set to face Cornell on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. from Hoy Field in Ithaca, New York.