Jonathan Flores/Pipe Dream Photographer Sophomore infielder Justin Drpich tallied five hits and two RBIs across three straight losses in baseball’s road series at Hartford.

After tying Cornell last Tuesday, the Binghamton baseball team returned to America East (AE) play for the first time in a week and was swept in three close games at Hartford. The Hawks (13-19, 8-4 AE) dominated the Bearcats (9-18-1, 5-7 AE) in the games’ later innings throughout the series.

The sweep continues BU’s extremely poor start relative to the team’s expectation to be a conference championship contender. The Bearcats are now tied with Albany for last place in the AE with eight conference games remaining on their regular season schedule.

In the series opener, Binghamton opened the game by tallying four runs on a flurry of singles and sacrifices in its first two innings at the plate. The Bearcats’ run was highlighted by junior outfielder Anthony Meduri, who scored in the first inning and recorded a sacrifice fly in the following frame. Hartford answered immediately, putting up three runs of its own in the bottom half of the second.

Following Binghamton’s quick offensive start, BU’s bats were shut down for the remainder of the game as the team failed to score in the final seven innings. As for the Bearcats’ pitching, after surrendering a Hawk rally early, junior starting pitcher Nick Gallagher calmed down, not allowing another run and pitching five total innings. In relief, junior Robert Brown pitched 2.1 innings and was attributed with the loss. Hartford sophomore shortstop Jackson Olson dominated his matchup with Brown, hitting the game-tying double in the sixth inning and following up with a go-ahead double in the bottom of the eighth. The Hawks went on to win the game, 5-4.

Saturday’s doubleheader featured a couple more tough losses for the Bearcats. After allowing two early runs to the Hawks in the first game, Binghamton responded with a surge led by sophomore infielder Justin Drpich, who recorded two RBI singles in the game’s early frames. Senior pitcher Nick Wegmann got the start for BU, pitching into the sixth inning. With the game tied at three in the bottom of the sixth, Hartford loaded the bases on a couple of hits and a walk. Wegmann was pulled from the game after having failed to get an out in the sixth, but was responsible for the runners on base. Sophomore Ben Anderson relieved Wegmann and immediately allowed a bases-clearing double. Wegmann ended the game charged with the loss and allowed six earned runs. Again, after a hot start, BU’s bats were shut down following the game’s opening innings, as the team dropped the second match by a score of 6-3.

Binghamton’s best opportunity to win came in the series’ final game. Down 2-1 in the game’s seventh and final inning, senior shortstop Paul Rufo came in clutch for BU, driving in Meduri with a game-tying single. The Bearcats appeared poised to enter extra innings, but fatigue caught up to redshirt senior starting pitcher Jacob Wloczewski, who allowed a walk-off run to allow the Hawks to complete the sweep, winning the final game 3-2. Binghamton wasted several opportunities in this game, leaving 10 runners on base in the contest. The Bearcats also left six runners on base in each of the series’ first two games, exemplifying the team’s inability to manufacture runs in the tightly contested series.

Individually, senior infielder Luke Tevlin shined for BU. He recorded seven hits, two RBIs and two runs over the course of the series. To this point in the season, Binghamton has not been able to sustain complete team performances across multiple series.

BU is set to make a brief return to nonconference play when it travels to Poughkeepsie, New York to take on Marist this Wednesday. First pitch from McCann Baseball Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.