After opening up America East (AE) play with a series win over NJIT at home, the Binghamton baseball team was swept by UMBC in a three game set. After being shutout 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, BU was narrowly defeated 11-9 in the second game. Then, on Sunday, after trailing early, the Bearcats’ comeback fell short as they suffered an 11-8 loss in the series finale to go winless on the weekend.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “We failed to play a complete game. We got great pitching and Friday the first game and couldn’t find a way to scratch out a couple runs and [final] two games. We got on the scoreboard, but our pitching didn’t hold up. Unfortunately, it was that type of weekend for us where we just weren’t able to kind of put it together.”

In the series opener on Saturday afternoon, Binghamton (7-13, 2-4 AE) was held to just two hits in the entire game by the Retrievers’ (9-11, 3-0 AE) starter, reigning AE pitcher of the year Luke Johnson. Senior pitcher Gabe Driscoll hurled six innings of two run ball with seven strikeouts, giving up five hits and just one walk. The Bearcats’ offense failed to provide any run support as they were shut out in game one 2-0.

“[Johnson] kept us off balance with a combination of mostly fast balls, change ups and the occasional slider, and we just couldn’t get anything going,” Sinicki said. “It took [Driscoll] a little while to get used to [the mound]. Unfortunately, [UMBC] put the first two runs on the board early, and then [Driscoll] settled in and found a way to deal with the mound, but at that point it was too late for us.”

In game two of the doubleheader on Saturday, both teams’ offenses came alive. After each team scored a run in the second inning, BU took a 4-1 lead after plating three in the third inning, taking advantage of an error by UMBC. The Retrievers responded with 10 combined runs throughout the fifth to seventh innings to take a 11-5 lead. Binghamton fostered a comeback, manufacturing three runs in the eighth inning to cut the UMBC lead to three. However, the visitors came up short, as senior shortstop Isaiah Corry plated BU’s final run in a 11-9 loss.

“We were able to find ways to get to [UMBC’s game two starter] early,” Sinicki said. “I’m just disappointed that we gave up those runs in the middle of the game. We battled and we tried to find a way and tie it. Unfortunately with the runs we gave up in the middle innings, we just weren’t able to get it back to even.”

In the series finale on Sunday, Binghamton trailed 9-0 through four frames. In the fifth inning, the Bearcats put up a five spot, courtesy of a two run single from senior outfielder Tommy Reifler and a hit by pitch that scored Corry, to cut the deficit to four. BU added two more in the sixth inning when junior outfielder Logan Haskell smacked a two RBI double to make it a 9-7 game. However, once again, Binghamton’s comeback would come up short as UMBC pulled away to hand BU a 11-7 loss.

“We gave up five in one inning and you can’t do that,” Sinicki said. “[UMBC] did a good job scoring. They scored six of eight innings. When you’re down and you’re trying to catch up, every run that they put on the board makes it that much more difficult to come back from … we just didn’t get a good start.”

With five games of nonconference play before the team continues AE conference play, Sinicki expressed that after a tough weekend, he will look to make the necessary changes to help the lineup and pitching staff click a little better and wants the team to play cleaner baseball overall.

“Within the next five games I hope we can be a little bit cleaner with our games — a little more a little crisp — and try to find a way to get this thing kind of turned around a little bit,” Sinicki said. “My goal is to try to find a combination that works better for us. Whether it might be some moves, in a lineup, or with different guys on the field or maybe different roles within the pitching staff.”

To start its five-game stretch of nonconference play, Binghamton will return home to take on Canisius in a midweek matchup on Tuesday, March 26. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at the Bearcats Baseball Complex in Vestal, New York.