Following the opening doubleheader of a three-game series against Stony Brook this past weekend, Binghamton appeared to be outmatched by the visiting Seawolves both offensively and defensively. BU (11-25, 7-11 America East) scored just one run in the two important conference games, as the Seawolves (23-19, 9-9 AE) plated eight. SBU swept the doubleheader, 5-0 and 3-1, but was overpowered by the Bearcats in the third game, 8-5.
“It’s been a struggle,” said BU head coach Tim Sinicki. “It’s no secret that it has been a struggle on offense. But it was good to see the guys come in today, shake off yesterday’s tough losses and come out and put some runs on the board, so hopefully that’s a positive sign and a step in the right direction.”
Once again, the Bearcats were forced to attempt a comeback after falling behind 3-0 in the top half of the second on Sunday. Binghamton’s offense got itself on the board in the home half of the second inning after senior first baseman Luke Tevlin drove a double to the right-center gap with no one out.
This small rally ended up scoring two Bearcats, making it a 3-2 game in favor of Stony Brook. BU’s offense was not done taking advantage of prime scoring opportunities. A big five-run fifth inning started when senior shortstop Paul Rufo worked a leadoff walk. Junior outfielder Anthony Meduri followed with a line drive that the pitcher booted into shallow right field, allowing Rufo to advance to third with no one out.
“At this point, the guys just kind of have to trust themselves, a lot of these guys have been there before and have been part of winning teams,” Sinicki said. “So sometimes you just have to let the guys work through it because ability-wise it’s there, but sometimes you just run cold.”
Then, senior catcher Jason Agresti stepped into the box and on a 2-1 count drove a towering shot to right-center field, just clearing the 365-foot marker for his first home run of the season and providing BU with a 6-3 lead still with no one out in the inning.
The Bearcats continued to bring the offense. Senior outfielder Pat Britt and Tevlin knocked back-to-back base hits. Freshman infielder Jake Evans followed the trend and hit a hard grounder up the middle, but off the pitcher’s foot, allowing the ball to roll into shallow left field and scoring another run and opening up a 7-4 edge.
With only one out in the inning, the Bearcats’ offense was relentless at the plate. Sophomore infielder and pitcher Greg Satriale worked a walk and turned it over to the top of the lineup with the bases loaded. Senior outfielder CJ Krowiak stepped up to the plate and drove a fly ball deep enough to score Tevlin from third, scoring run number eight for Binghamton.
“We need everyone ready to go next Saturday and Sunday,” Sinicki said. “So it’ll be all hands on deck, but we have to get our guys some opportunities to play some games and get some at-bats before the big series at Maine.”
Stony Brook’s starting pitchers proved to be superior to Binghamton’s pitching staff in the first two games. During the matches, SBU’s starting pitching tossed 14 innings, allowing just one run between the two starters.
Anchoring the Seawolves’ offense was sophomore infielder Nick Grande. The power-hitting shortstop left the park once in each of the first two games, adding to his impressive .403 batting average. Following Grande was senior outfielder Andruw Gazzola, who collected five hits in the opening doubleheader. BU’s offense was kept in check by Stony Brook’s impressive pitching effort, combined with its sharp defense that stole base hits from the Bearcats left and right.
This was not how the narrative played out in the third game, however, as Binghamton’s pitching staff kept the strong SBU lineup in check. Redshirt senior pitcher Jacob Wloczewski started the game on the mound for BU, earning his second win of the season for his six innings of four-run ball. Junior pitcher Robert Brown came on in relief and got the job done, allowing just one unearned run and earning himself the save in three innings of relief duty.
Binghamton has a quick turnaround and is set to play an afternoon game this coming Tuesday against St. Bonaventure. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. from Olean, New York.