After being swept in its opening series at Houston, the Binghamton baseball team bounced back, taking two of three games against UNC Greensboro to record its first series win of the 2024 season. The offense came alive as the Bearcats won the first two games of the series 9-6 and 8-5. Then, dealing with various injuries, BU fell 6-3 in the final matchup on Sunday, coming out of the weekend 2-1.

”I thought overall, as a team, if you can drive 10 hours on Thursday, play three games, win two out of three on the road, and then come back home, I think that’s a pretty good weekend of baseball for us,” said Binghamton head coach Tim Sinicki. “I’m pretty happy with the way things went overall.”

On Friday, the first game of the series, Binghamton (2-4) secured its first win of the season with a 8-5 victory against the Spartans (5-2). After a scoreless first inning, UNC Greensboro tacked on two runs in the second and a run in the third to take an early 3-0 lead. The Bearcats response came in the top of the fourth inning when senior outfielder Mike Gunning hit an RBI triple to get Binghamton on the board. Shortly after, graduate student first baseman Sam Haney brought Gunning in with an RBI single to cut the Spartan lead to 3-2. BU’s offense stayed hot, tacked on three runs in the fifth inning, one run in the sixth. Despite UNC Greensboro plating two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Bearcats put up two runs in the seventh inning and held the lead the rest of the way to secure an 8-5 victory.

”I thought our guys were a little bit more comfortable in the box,” Sinicki said. “For the most part we did a good job, getting our guys in when we needed to. [We] rallied from a three-nothing deficit … the pitching, the bullpen did a really good job coming in there after [senior pitcher Gabe Driscoll’s] effort.”

BU’s second game against UNC Greensboro on Saturday afternoon played out similarly to the first. The Spartans jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, scoring two in both the first and second innings. Binghamton got on the board in the top of the third inning courtesy of an RBI fly-out from junior catcher Evin Sullivan and a two-run home run by Gunning. Then, the Bearcats struck again in the fourth inning, with freshman infielder Jake Dally leaving the ball park to tie the game at four. Binghamton carried its momentum through the fifth, scoring four more runs via a Sullivan RBI single and a three-run homer to left by Gunning, his second of the day, to take an 8-4 lead. Despite giving up two runs to the Spartans in the sixth inning, the Bearcats tacked on an insurance run in the seventh, courtesy of an RBI double by senior outfielder Tommy Reifler— en route to a 9-6 win in game two.

”[Gunning is] a middle-of-the-order type hitter for us,” Sinicki said. “He’s got the ability to hit the gaps and drop the ball out of the ballpark. So if he’s feeling good, that’s a real benefit for our lineup.”

The Bearcats’ third and final game of the series on Sunday afternoon began with the visitors taking an early lead. BU got on the board first, with an RBI single from freshman infielder Todd Abraham in the second inning and a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Christian Perez in the top of the third inning to put Binghamton up 2-0. However, after this point, BU’s offense was silenced for the most part. UNC Greensboro went on to score six unanswered runs, including four in the sixth, to go up 6-2. Heading into the ninth inning facing a four run deficit, Binghamton got one run back, after an RBI triple off the bat of sophomore infielder Mike Stellrecht. However, this was not enough as the Spartans’ pitching staff closed out the game and BU fell 6-3.

”We just didn’t get anything going in those middle innings,” Sinicki said. “[UNC Greensboro] took advantage of the four-run sixth [inning] and a misplay that we had in the field … We got one [run] late but just couldn’t do enough to sweep the series — but [winning] two out of three [games] — we will take on the road.”

Binghamton will face a tough test, taking on No.1 Wake Forest for a single-game matchup on Friday, March 1. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.