Over the weekend, the Binghamton baseball team hosted UMBC for a weekend America East (AE) series. After losing game one on Friday night, the Bearcats bounced back with a win in game two off a walk-off home run hit by senior first baseman Kevin Gsell. However, BU was narrowly bested by the Retrievers in the rubber match as the hosts went 1-2 on the weekend.
“Disappointed we didn’t win the series,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “[I] thought we showed a lot of character trying to come back in games one and three, but just dug ourselves too big of a hole to be able to do that. Thought we did some good things.”
In game one, the Bearcats (22-16, 8-7 AE) immediately got on the board as senior outfielder Cavan Tully hit a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first inning. UMBC (22-19, 11-7 AE) matched the hosts’ score with a run of its own in the top of the second. After BU failed to score in the bottom of the frame, the visitors broke the game open in the top of the third, plating nine runs to take a 10-1 lead.
Despite falling into a deep deficit, Binghamton made an attempt to get back into the game. Sophomore second baseman Nick Roselli smacked two home runs, one in the third and another in the seventh inning. In the seventh inning, the Bearcats scored four total runs with additional RBI singles hit by sophomore catcher Evin Sullivan and junior designated hitter Kevin Reilly. This, however, was not enough to recover as the hosts lost game one 10-6.
“[Roselli]’s a hitter,” Sinicki said. “He knows what he’s doing in the box. He has a good game plan. He uses both sides of the field very well, and he’s a guy that I have tremendous confidence in when he comes up to the plate. Rarely does he give away an at bat.”
In game two, Roselli got the offense started in the bottom of the first, ripping a double into left-center field that scored two runs. Junior outfielder Tommy Reifler followed him up with a sacrifice fly in the second to give BU a quick 3-0 lead. The third and fourth innings remained scoreless, but the Retrievers managed to put up one run each in the fifth and sixth inning, and two in the seventh to take a 4-3 advantage. In the bottom of the seventh, with two outs and one runner on, Gsell smacked a ball deep into left field that carried the wall and gave the hosts the 5-4 walk-off win. Senior pitcher Jack Collins earned the win as he came in for the final 1.1 innings, giving up just one hit and two runs.
“I thought [the win] was really important,” Sinicki said. “To get a walk-off home run by Gsell in the bottom of the inning was obviously very important. I was kind of hoping it would lead us to a little momentum in game three, but [UMBC] scored early, and then we tied it, they took the lead and unfortunately the dagger was the three-run homer.”
UMBC took an early lead in game three, plating runs in the first two innings and holding Binghamton scoreless until the fourth. The Bearcat offense came around in the bottom of the fourth when Sullivan blasted a two-run homer over center field. Despite Binghamton tying the game up at two, the Retrievers responded with five unanswered runs, with four coming in the seventh inning, to go up 7-2.
In a comeback effort, during the bottom of the ninth, the Bearcats began to chip away at the lead as a Reifler RBI single cut the deficit to two. Roselli then reached on a fielder’s choice that scored another run, making it a 7-6. This brought Gsell up with another opportunity to win the game. However, he was unable to deliver as he popped up to third base, as Binghamton was defeated 7-6.
“You’re not going to win every game,” Sinicki said. “Things aren’t going to go your way every time, but if you’ve got guys in the dugout [that] don’t give up, and we’ll fight until the 27th out is made. Hopefully, it gets us through some tough times down the road because those are the types of things that good teams can build off of and never lose faith, never lose hope and always compete right to the very end.”
BU returns to action on Tuesday, May 2 against in-state rivals Cornell. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.