The Binghamton baseball team traveled to Smithfield, Rhode Island over the weekend to take on Bryant in its penultimate series of America East (AE) conference play. After losing in extra innings, over the span of two days, in game one, the Bearcats bounced back to take game two but fell short in the rubber match of the series as they exited the weekend with a 1-2 record against the Bulldogs.

“I thought we were the better team for 80 percent of the weekend,” said Binghamton head Coach Tim Sinicki. “Unfortunately, [the] 20 percent that [Bryant] [was] better than us ended up costing us two ball games. We had opportunities to win both the games that we lost, and we just weren’t able to secure the win at the end of the game.”

In game one of the series, Bryant (25-20,12-9 AE) got on the board right away, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning to take an early lead against BU (25-19, 11-10 AE). The Bearcats tacked on a run in the second inning but the Bulldogs added three more runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-1 advantage over the visitors. Bryant retained its 6-1 lead until the seventh when senior first baseman Kevin Gsell hit a three-run home run to bring Binghamton within two. Then, in the ninth, the Bearcats tacked on two runs, courtesy of an RBI single from sophomore infielder Nick Roselli and a sacrifice fly from junior outfielder Mike Gunning, evening the score at six.

After Bryant failed to score in the bottom of the ninth, with the game tied at 6-6, the contest went to extra innings. After a scoreless tenth and eleventh inning, Binghamton would go on to take an 8-6 lead in the twelfth courtesy of sacrifice flies from senior outfielder Cavan Tully and junior outfielder Tommy Reifler. However, with the Bulldogs down to their final out in the bottom of the twelfth, they managed to hit back-to-back solo home runs, tying the game at eight. The game was then suspended due to the sprinkler systems going off at Conaty Park. Then, on Saturday, play resumed and Bryant secured a 9-8 win in the bottom of the thirteenth, walking things off on a hit by pitch.

“After you get a double play ball to get two outs and you are one out away from securing the win, I think we lost the momentum that we had,” Sinicki said. “The fact that we started up 25 minutes later … I do think it had an impact but in the end you’ve got to find a way to overcome that and a way to finish off the game.”

The second game of the series saw much more offense early on from Binghamton. Despite Bryant taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Binghamton answered with two runs in the second after sophomore catcher Evin Sullivan scored off of a wild pitch and freshman infielder Mike Stellrecht plated Gunning with an RBI single. The Bearcats continued to build their lead in the third when Sullivan drove Roselli in with an RBI double and sophomore infielder Devan Bade registered a RBI triple of his own, making the score 5-1. Binghamton then scored two runs in the fourth and fifth, expanding its lead to eight. Although the Bulldogs managed to plate two runs in the sixth and one run in the eight, it would not be enough as the Bearcats added three more runs in the ninth, cruising to a 12-4 victory and evening the series at one game a piece.

“We’re able to kind of flush out what happened the day before and come with a new outlook,” Sinicki said. “I like that about our team. I think it shows good character. I was certainly pleased … I was really happy with that effort.”

In the rubber match, Binghamton took an early 2-0 lead in the first, courtesy of Gsell and Gunning, who both collected RBI singles. The Bearcats followed this up with two more runs in the second when Roselli and Gsell slapped RBI singles, extending BU’s lead to four. However, Bryant refused to give up, plating four runs in the third to tie the game up at four. In the sixth, a sacrifice fly from junior designated hitter Andrew Tan gave Binghamton a 5-4 lead, but that would be the visitors’ final run of the day. Not long after, the Bulldogs scraped across one run in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 6-5 lead while shutting the Bearcats down for the rest of the game to secure both the victory and the series win.

“We had a chance maybe in the middle innings to separate a little bit and try to get the lead, but to [Bryant’s] credit, they didn’t give us that opportunity,” Sinicki said. “Then, when we did score a run late, we gave it right back up.”

Binghamton will finish up AE conference play with a series against UMass Lowell starting on Thursday, May 18. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Massachusetts.