After sweeping UAlbany in its most recent America East (AE) series, the Binghamton baseball team suffered a series loss on the road against Maine. After dropping the first two games of the series 3-4 and 3-9, BU secured a dominant 21-4 win in Sunday’s finale to salvage the weekend.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t find a way to win the series,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “To drop the first two and then to find a way to come out with a win on Sunday makes the trip home a little bit easier. Hopefully, that’s something that gets us going in the right direction as we head into the final stretch of the season.”

Binghamton (17-22, 7-11 AE) suffered a walk-off defeat against Maine (10-28, 6-8 AE) in the series opener. Sophomore pitcher Dan McAliney went five innings, allowing two earned runs on two hits, while walking one and striking out two. After the Bearcats faced an early 1-0 deficit, senior outfielder Eric Madenberg worked a bases-loaded walk to drive in a run to knot it up at one. Maine went on to retake the lead in the bottom of the second. However, BU took a 3-2 lead when sophomore infielder Mike Stellrecht hit a two-RBI single in the top of the sixth. Maine then evened the score at three in the bottom of the sixth.

With the game tied at three going into the bottom of the ninth, the Black Bears scored the game-winning run with a sac fly to take game one.

“We have to take care of the little things a little better,” Sinicki said. “We had opportunities to either get a hit or make a play or to put a pitch where we needed it and we just didn’t do it consistently enough. At this point in the season, everybody knows what we should be doing. There’s no finger-pointing or blame — we just have to take care of business.”

After the walk-off loss in the series opener, Binghamton kept the score close for the majority of the second game but couldn’t manufacture enough run support to stay in the game. Senior pitcher Nelson Berkwich went six innings, allowing four unearned runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out six. However, the bullpen couldn’t keep the Bearcats in the game, giving up five runs to Maine in the eighth as they fell 9-3.

“I thought [Berkwich] threw the ball really well, especially given the challenges we’re facing right now,” Sinicki said. “We have several guys from the rotation and bullpen down with injuries, so the pitching this weekend was done by guys who had to pick up a staff that’s a little beat up right now, and they did a really good job. I’m really proud of the way they pitched over the entire weekend.”

Binghamton rebounded in the series finale in a big way, exploding for 21 runs with contributions from 1-through-9. Graduate student pitcher Spencer Howell twirled six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while walking one and striking out three. The visitors blew the doors off early, scoring five runs in the first and 10 in the second to build a 15-1 lead by the third inning. The Bearcats scored six more times, with two runs in the third, fourth and fifth. BU stepped off the gas after the sixth, holding on with little issues for a 21-4 win.

“It seemed like we were able to capitalize on some momentum,” Sinicki said. “When a guy draws a big walk or gets a big hit, it festers throughout the dugout and guys get excited. I think it was definitely contagious today. We got a bit of momentum and fortunately, our guys ran with it.”

As a team, the Bearcats’ pitching staff surrendered 17 runs — 13 of which were earned — and allowed 24 hits while striking out 19 Black Bears throughout the weekend. Binghamton’s offense combined for an average of .264 throughout the weekend.

“For our midweek game, we’re going to give chances to guys who didn’t pitch over the weekend,” Sinicki said. “The guys that we’ll have in the lineup will be the guys that we’ll be playing the rest of the year. What we have to do is get them the at-bats and the repetition that they need as we head into the last two weekends of the year with [AE] play.”

Binghamton will start a four-game non-conference slate beginning with a midweek matchup against Cornell on Tuesday, April 30. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.