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Baseball drops opener at VMI 3-2
Keydets hit game-winning homer in 8th; Thomas goes 3-for-3
March 1, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (email@example.com)
LEXINGTON, Va.—Host VMI hit a tiebreaking solo home run with two out in the eighth inning to edge Binghamton baseball 3-2 in the opening game of a four-game series Friday afternoon from Gray-Minor Stadium.
The Bearcats (2-3) put runners on base in eight of nine innings and outhit the Keydets 10-6 but stranded nine runners and had another thrown out at the plate.
Binghamton opened the scoring with a run in the third inning on a two-out RBI double by sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas. Senior catcher Mike Danaher opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a groundout and third on a wild pitch. With two out, Thomas stroked an offering to left center, scoring Danaher with the first run.
The Bearcats missed a chance to extend their lead in the fourth when they put two runners on. VMI used a double-play grounder to exit the frame. The hosts tied the game at 1-1 with a run on two singles and a stolen base in the fifth.
Binghamton went ahead 2-1 with a run in the sixth but the Keydets limited the damage with a play at the plate and back-to-back outs to end a two-on threat. Thomas and junior third baseman Brian Ruby were both hit-by-pitch to start the inning and junior second baseman Daniel Nevares reached on an error to load the bases with nobody out. Senior first baseman Jordon Smucker delivered an RBI single through the left side but Ruby was cut down at the plate on a close play. A strikeout and groundout left two more stranded.
VMI tied it again with a run on two singles in the bottom of the inning - the run scoring on a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher.
The Bearcats had a good opportunity to forge ahead in the top of the eighth after Thomas led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Ruby. After a Nevares walk put runners on first and second with one out, BU hit back-to-back groundouts to end the inning. VMI went ahead with the two-out blast over the left field wall in their half of the inning and then the Bearcats left their final runner stranded in the ninth. Danaher hit a one-out single but an infield pop-up and fielder’s choice groundout ended the game.
Senior starter Jake Lambert went six innings and only allowed four singles and two runs. Lambert worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth with a double play and struck out six and walked just one. He lowered his season ERA to 4.91 in two starts.
Sophomore reliever Mike Kaufman (0-1) went the final two innings and struck out three.
Thomas went 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored. He raised his season on-base percentage to .611 and is now 7-for-14. Smucker went 2-for-4 and contributed his team-high seventh RBI of the spring. Danaher also went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
The teams continue the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. Both games will be nine innings.
Game 2 - Saturday at 1 p.m.
RHP Jay Lynch (BU) (0-1, 10.80 ERA) vs. LHP Connor Bach (VMI) (0-2, 6.52 ERA)
Game 3 - Saturday (second game of DH)
LHP Mike Meleski (BU) (0-1) vs. RHP Jeremy Brown (VMI) (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game 4 - Sunday at 1 p.m.
RHP Jack Rogalla (BU) (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. LHP Campbell Henkel (1-1, 7.71 ERA)