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Baseball fends off VMI in 12 innings 9-7
Smucker, Thomas, Nevares drive in 2 runs apiece; schedule changed for Sunday
March 2, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LEXINGTON, Va.—Junior second baseman Daniel Nevares tied the game with a two-run single in the ninth inning and Binghamton (3-3) plated two runs in the 12th frame to battle past host VMI (4-7) 9-7 Saturday afternoon at Gray-Minor Stadium. The teams were supposed to play a doubleheader but with game 1 going nearly four hours amid below-40 degree temperatures, game 2 was pushed back to Sunday. The teams will play a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game Sunday with the first pitch set for noon.
After enduring a tough 3-2 loss in Friday’s opener on a VMI late-inning homer, the Bearcats were three outs from another frustrating defeat before rallying for two runs in the ninth inning. Ahead 4-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, BU relievers surrendered six runs in the seventh and eighth innings but Binghamton’s offense came to the rescue in the ninth and then after the teams each plated a run in the 10th inning, BU won it with a pair in the 12th.
Senior first baseman Jordon Smucker went 3-for-6 with two RBI, Nevares drove in two with his clutch ninth-inning hit and sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas had two RBI and scored three runs. Thomas also tied a school record with four walks, raising his team-best on-base percentage to .640. Junior third baseman Brian Ruby had two hits and an RBI. Smucker is hitting .409 in the early season and has a team-best nine RBI in six games. Nevares is hitting .400.
On the hill, senior starter Jay Lynch went 6.0 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. Lynch struck out three and didn’t walk a batter and departed with a 4-0 lead. Freshman Jake Cryts pitched the final two innings to notch his first collegiate win. Cryts allowed just one hit and struck out three.
The Bearcats snapped a scoreless tie with one run in the sixth inning. Thomas, Ruby and Nevares all walked and Smucker hit a fielder’s choice grounder that resulted in a throwing error. But Binghamton left the bases loaded and only plated the one run. But one inning later, BU put three more runs on the board. Ruby delivered an RBI double and Smucker followed with a two-run single to right center.
Down 4-0, the Keydets got two back in their half of the seventh - both unearned runs after two singles and an infield throwing error. Then in the eighth inning, VMI sent eight hitters to the plate and scored four runs on four hits to take a 6-4 lead. The big blow was a two-out, two-run double.
Now behind 6-4, BU rallied in the ninth to extend the game. Junior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz led off with a single, Thomas walked and Ruby dropped down a bunt single. Nevares then ripped a two-run single to left field, scoring Bereszniewicz and Thomas to tie the game.
The Bearcats took a 7-6 lead with a run in the top of the 10th inning. Junior shortstop John Howell led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a single by Bereszniewicz. Thomas then hit a fly ball to center field to score Howell with the go-ahead run. But the Keydets hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the frame and extend the game. VMI had the winning run on third base with two out in the 11th but Cryts got a groundout to second to keep his team alive.
In the 12th inning, Howell again reached base to open the inning. After sophomore right fielder Zach Blanden worked a walk, Bereszniewicz dropped down a sac bunt and Howell came around to score on an errant throw by the VMI catcher. Thomas then brought in Blanden with a run-scoring single to make it 9-7. The hosts used a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate but Cryts induced a pop-up and swinging strikeout to shut the door and end the game.
The teams combined to strand 27 baserunners with BU leaving 16 on base.
Juniors Jack Rogalla (game 1) and Mike Meleski (game 2) will start Sunday’s games.