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Baseball rallies to win opener, earns split at Stony Brook

BU scores six runs in final at-bat to capture game 1, 10-7; Seawolves take nightcap 4-1

March 23, 2013

Baseball rallies to win opener, earns split at Stony Brook

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STONY BROOK, N.Y. – Binghamton rallied for another dramatic win in its final at-bat before host Stony Brook salvaged a doubleheader split on Saturday with a win in the nightcap. The Bearcats (10-7, 2-3 AE) won the seven-inning opener 10-7 before the Seawolves (7-14, 2-3 AE) gained the split with a 4-1 nine-inning win in the nightcap.

In the opener, BU was down to its final at-bat and facing a three-run deficit before rallying for six runs. In the big seventh inning, the Bearcats sent 11 men to the plate and combined five hits with a walk, hit batter and a pair of Stony Brook errors.

Sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas tied the game at 7-7 with a two-run double and junior third baseman Brian Ruby followed with an RBI double on an 0-2 pitch to give BU an 8-7 lead. The first six Bearcats reached base to chase Stony Brook ace Brandon McNitt. Senior first baseman Jordon Smucker notched his league-leading 24th RBI on a fielder’s choice grounder and an infield throwing error allowed the 10th run to score for Binghamton.

Sophomore closer Mike Kaufman pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his second save of the season. Kaufman allowed a one-out single before inducing a game-ending 5-4-3 double play. The big inning made a winner out of sophomore Mike Urbanski (W, 1-0), who pitched 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Jake Lambert. Binghamton’s No. 1 starter registered seven strikeouts in 4.2 innings but was knocked out of the game after allowing seven runs (three earned) on 11 hits.

Binghamton opened the scoring with four runs in three hits in the second inning before Stony Brook countered with six runs in the fourth inning. In the fourth, the Seawolves rapped seven hits, including six hits with two outs, and then added another run in the fifth, setting up BU’s final-inning rally.

In BU’s four-run second, sophomore right fielder Zach Blanden delivered the key hit with a two-run triple down the right field line. Earlier, junior DH Shaun McGraw had a sacrifice fly and senior catcher Mike Danaher stroked an RBI double.

Thomas and Blanden had two RBI apiece. Thomas reached base in three of four plate appearances. Danaher and Ruby each went 2-for-4 with an RBI

In game 2, BU jumped out ahead with a run in the first inning but after registering three hits in the frame, BU was held to four hits over the remaining eight scoreless innings. Stony Brook knotted the score at 1-1 with a run in the second and then tallied three decisive runs in the fifth.

In the Binghamton first, Blanden led off with a single and after two outs, he stole second and came in to score on a Ruby RBI single to center field. The Bearcats were denied a big inning after leaving runners stranded at second and third.

Stony Brook evened the game with a 1-out solo home run in the second.

The Bearcats put runners on first and second with one out in the fourth inning but a double play ended the frame and kept the game tied.

The Seawolves then scored three runs on four hits in the fifth to take control. Back-to-back singles and a bunt single loaded the bases before a walk gave Stony Brook the go-ahead run. An RBI groundout and two-run double accounted for the other runs.

Binghamton left a runner stranded at second in the seventh inning and then missed a good chance to stage another last-inning rally after putting two runners on in the ninth. Thomas and Nevares hit singles to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. But a strikeout and fly out ended the game.

Junior starter Jack Rogalla (L 2-1) scattered eight hits and four runs in 6.0 innings. Rogalla struck out five and walked one before giving way to sophomore Anthony Grillini, who tossed two scoreless innings of one-hit ball.

Junior second baseman Daniel Nevares went 3-for-4 to pace the offense.

On the day, Thomas reached base in four of seven plate appearances, raising his on-base percentage to .571. Thomas ranks second in the nation in that category and his hitting .418 with 19 RBI in 17 games this spring.

The teams will complete the three-game series with a single game Sunday afternoon. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. from Joe Nathan field.

Sunday Pitching Matchup
Game 3 (1 p.m.) (9 innings) – Jay Lynch (Binghamton) 1-2, 3.98 ERA vs. Daniel Zamora (Stony Brook) 0-4, 5.76 ERA

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