After going 1-2 at Wake Forest last weekend, the Binghamton baseball team traveled to Norfolk, Virginia for a three-game series against Norfolk State — looking to put up improved numbers. BU would flip its record over the weekend, going 2-1 against the Spartans and earning its first series win of the season.
“I thought that we were better than our opponent and felt like we should’ve won all three games,” said Binghamton head coach Tom Sinicki. “Little disappointed that we couldn’t get the three-game sweep, but we’ll continue to get better every week.”
The Bearcats (3-6) got on the board early in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday. In the second inning, junior infielder Isaiah Corry barreled one into center field, which drove in sophomore infielder Devan Bade and junior catcher Kevin Reilly. Despite facing an early 2-0 deficit, the Spartans (2-8) responded in the third after scoring on an RBI groundout. Not long after, in the fifth, the home team added another run to its total — which tied the score at two.
Binghamton would continue to exchange runs with its opponents, first thanks to a sacrifice fly by junior outfielder Mike Gunning. However, Norfolk State tied things up once again in the eighth after scoring on a fielding error by the visitors. In the ninth, the Bearcats rallied, scratching out three runs and shutting out the home team in the bottom of the inning, allowing them to secure the 6-3 victory.
“It’s important to be able to try to find ways to win games,” Sinicki said. “I was happy that we kept the game close and found a way to win at the end.”
The second game of the doubleheader saw a more one-sided result, as the Bearcats managed a 7-0 victory. Once again, Binghamton got on the board first in the second inning after Corry singled up the middle to score Reilly. However, it was the fifth inning that propelled BU to the victory as it put up a five-spot to make the score 6-0. Binghamton then added one more run in the sixth.
“We’re not used to playing double headers these days, but we’ve got to play games, that’s the most important thing,” Sinicki said. “It didn’t pose any challenges, but it was a little different … It’s a pretty long day at the field.”
Junior pitcher Gabe Driscoll went 5.2 innings while striking out six and giving up zero earned runs. Senior pitcher Tanner Sinicki and junior pitcher Alex Henderson were also called upon in relief, both contributing to the shutout effort.
“[Driscoll’s] been terrific,” Sinicki said. “He was in complete control, had all his pitches working for him for a third straight start. He’s really going out there and proving himself.”
The third game of the series saw a much tighter contest, as Binghamton would go on to lose 6-5 in extra innings. Similar to the first game, both teams went back-and-forth. Neither team would manage to score more than two runs in an inning as Binghamton led 5-4 going into the ninth. With the Spartans on the brink of defeat in the ninth, senior pitcher Jack Collins gave up an RBI single, allowing the home team to tie the score at five. The Spartans could not add to their total, sending the game to extra innings.
In the tenth, after Binghamton failed to score, Norfolk State had the opportunity to walk it off. Junior pitcher Justin Rosner allowed a single to the left side, allowing the Spartans to plate the game-winning run as Binghamton dropped the final game of the series.
“Being on the road has its challenges, but at the same time, we hope that it affords the team an opportunity to build chemistry,” Sinicki said. “Hopefully all these away games in our non-conference season will help us prepare for what we have ahead of us.”
Binghamton will remain on the road for its next three-game series against GWU starting on Friday, March 10. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Tucker Field at Barcroft Park in Arlington, Virginia.