The Binghamton baseball team’s struggles on the diamond continued this past Tuesday evening as the Bearcats (10-23-1, 6-9 America East) got blown out under the lights at home as Cornell put up 12 runs and defeated BU handily, 12-3.
“Offensively, we have continued to really, really struggle,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “We’re leaving a lot of guys on base and I think even more specifically, leaving guys on third base with less than two outs, which is just not taking advantage of an opportunity to score.”
Cornell (9-17-1, 4-8 Ivy) jumped out to an early lead in the first. The Big Red plated four runs off sophomore right-hander Jake Miller, who was making his first start coming off an injury. Miller struggled to find the strike zone and found himself in a no-out, bases-loaded jam after allowing a leadoff double and walking the next two batters.
Miller did not make it out of the inning. After allowing four runs and recording two outs, Miller’s night was done. Sinicki called upon senior pitcher Joe Orlando, who only needed two pitches to finish the first inning.
Cornell, however, was not done producing offensively. The Big Red came right back and scored three runs in the second thanks to its powerful lineup. After Cornell senior outfielder Kyle Gallagher worked a full-count walk, classmate outfielder Ellis Bitar drove a double off the right-center field fence to score Gallagher.
“It’s difficult, with baseball being a game of repetition we just to try and remind the players that this happens over the course of a season,” Sinicki said. “Our season is confined to a small time period, so when you slump you don’t have that extra time to get out of it, so it becomes more magnified.”
Cornell junior catcher Will Simoneit stepped into the box and drove a towering no-doubter that cleared the center-field fence, and just like that, Binghamton was down, 7-0. Luckily for BU, the bullpen did its job for the next four innings, allowing the offense to wake up a bit.
BU got on the board in the fourth inning when senior center fielder CJ Krowiak got the ball rolling, leading off the inning with a single. Freshman outfielder Andrew Eng followed Krowiak’s hit with a walk. Junior outfielder Anthony Meduri was then rewarded for hustling out a routine grounder at third, as the Cornell third baseman airmailed the throw to first, allowing Krowiak to score. Unfortunately for Binghamton, Cornell senior left-handed pitcher Tyler Fernandez settled down and retired the next three Binghamton hitters in order, extinguishing the no-out rally.
“You just hope that guys keep at it and continue to work hard in practice and eventually put things together,” Sinicki said. “We’ve told our guys that we’ll continue to work with them, coach them up the best we can and prepare them for games, but ultimately it comes down to our execution on the field.”
The failure to capitalize on prime scoring opportunities has emerged as a prevalent problem for Binghamton. So far, the Bearcats have left 268 runners on base this season, eight of which came from this game. The fifth inning proved to not break the trend. With runners on second and third base and one out, Krowiak continued to swing a hot bat, driving an RBI single to left field. Eng answered with a sac fly to left, cutting the Cornell deficit to four.
This was the final showing of BU’s offensive production, as it was shut out for the remaining four innings. Cornell’s offense, however, was not finished. The Big Red tacked on three runs in the seventh and then two more in the ninth to provide its relief pitching with a nine-run cushion.
“In general, we’re just not playing good baseball right now,” Sinicki said. “There are a lot of different things that are going on in the course of a game that we are not doing well.”
Binghamton will look to turn things around this weekend, as the team is set to take on Stony Brook at home. With just nine conference games remaining, BU will look to win the majority of those games to claw its way out of last place. Even though the team is at the bottom of the conference, it is only two games back from first-place Hartford.
First pitch of the three-game home stand with Stony Brook is scheduled for noon on Saturday from the Bearcats Sports Complex in Vestal, New York.