Looking to round into form for the season’s final stretch, the Binghamton baseball team returned to nonconference play this week. In what has been a mostly disappointing season, the Bearcats (13-25-1, 7-11 America East) picked up some momentum with victories against St. Bonaventure and Cornell. Timely hitting from senior infielder Luke Tevlin and freshman outfielder Andrew Eng helped propel BU to its wins. Binghamton now heads into a pivotal series against Maine on a three-game winning streak.
The Bearcats got off to a quick start against the Bonnies (9-25, 5-11 Atlantic 10), putting up two runs in the top of the first. Senior outfielder CJ Krowiak set the tone for BU with a triple to lead off the game. Krowiak later scored on a sacrifice fly from senior catcher Jason Agresti. Tevlin later ripped a double to left-center to cap off BU’s scoring for the inning.
St. Bonaventure responded swiftly with a three-run inning in the second. Doubles from junior outfielder Sam Fuller and classmate infielder Mike Magnanti plated two of the Bonnies’ three runs in a two-out rally. St. Bonaventure’s offense was subsequently shut down following this inning, as sophomore infielder Greg Satriale and senior pitcher Joe Orlando combined to throw seven shutout innings in relief.
Binghamton tallied the game’s tying and go-ahead runs in the top of the fifth inning. After junior outfielder Anthony Meduri tied the game at three on a passed ball, Tevlin drove in his second run of the day on a single to the opposite field in right. BU’s dominant relief pitching ensured that the Bearcats held on to win, 4-3.
The Bearcats’ strong play continued as they blew out Cornell (11-19-1, 6-9 Ivy) at home on Wednesday night. Eng kicked off the Bearcats’ offensive attack with a home run that cleared the right-field bullpen in the bottom of the second. After Cornell responded immediately with a run in the top of the third, Binghamton employed most of its offensive attack during the game’s fourth and fifth innings, a stretch in which it logged nine more runs. Eng added two more RBIs with two well-placed singles during the stretch. Binghamton cruised following the fifth inning, winning 11-1.
Leading the Bearcats offensively was Eng, who batted 3-for-3 and drove in three runs. Binghamton exclusively used its bullpen on the mound, as six pitchers combined to allow only one run. Sophomore pitcher Ben Anderson got the start for BU, striking out four batters in two innings pitched.
Coming off three consecutive wins, the Bearcats now head into an important three-game series with Maine (12-28, 6-9 AE), which should play a large role in determining BU’s playoff chances. Six teams qualify for the AE Tournament, and Binghamton is currently seventh in the conference, sitting just half a game behind the Black Bears. Adding to the importance of this series is the fact that Binghamton has a bye during the final weekend of conference play; the Bearcats have already played three more games than Maine to this point. BU has won the AE’s regular season championship in four of its past five seasons, so this is unfamiliar territory for Binghamton.
The Bearcats return to action on Saturday to take on Maine in a three-game set at Mahaney Diamond in Orono, Maine. The first pitch of game one is scheduled for noon.