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Baseball drops doubleheader at Maine 5-2 and 3-2
Battle of top two teams in America East goes to host Black Bears
April 7, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ORONO, Maine. – After idling in Orono due to a frigid Saturday, Binghamton baseball (14-11, 5-6 AE) had trouble firing up its offense on Sunday and suffered a doubleheader sweep at the hands of host Maine (17-14, 8-3 AE), 5-2 and 3-2 at Mahaney Diamond. The Bearcats held early leads in each game but were limited to eight hits and two runs over the final 14 innings and dropped consecutive games for just the second time this spring.
In the opener, Binghamton scored single runs in each of the first two innings and carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning of the seven-inning contest before Maine broke through against senior starter Jake Lambert. The Black Bears plated five runs on six hits in the inning - producing five hits with two out. Lambert (3-1) was cruising through five innings before allowing four straight singles and a walk in the pivotal sixth. He held the hosts scoreless on five hits with three strikeouts prior.
The Bearcats left the door open by squandering a glorious chance to do more damage early against Maine pitching. Sophomore center fielder Zach Blanden tripled to lead off the game and after a walk to junior shortstop John Howell, sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas began his stellar day with an RBI single to left. But after a passed ball moved two runners into scoring position with no outs, BU fizzled with a groundout and back-to-back strikeouts and left the first inning with a slim 1-0 lead.
In the second, junior right fielder Shaun McGraw led off with a single and moved to second on an infield throwing error. McGraw went to third on a sacrifice and one out later, Blanden made it 2-0 with an RBI single to right. He was caught stealing, however, ending the frame.
Blanden went 3-for-3 with an RBI, Thomas went 2-for-3 with an RBI and McGraw went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
In game two, the Bearcats again struck early with two runs in the first inning. Blanden led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. One out later, Thomas crushed an offering over the right field fence for his second home run of the season. But Binghamton was held to just three hits over the remaining eight scoreless innings and Maine plated three runs in the fourth inning to grab the lead and the final scoring margin. In the fourth, the Black Bears strung together two singles and two doubles, including the go-ahead, two-out, two-run double.
Junior starter Jack Rogalla scattered seven hits and three runs over 6.0 innings. Rogalla (2-2) struck out five and walked one. With his scheduled start wiped out when the three-game series was reduced to two, senior Jay Lynch tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
Thomas went 2-for-4 with the home run and two RBI. He is hitting .380 on the season with a team-high of 25 RBI. Thomas also kept his league-leading on-base percentage above the .500 mark (.519).
With the pair of losses, BU slipped into fourth place in the America East standings, three games behind Maine.
Binghamton has now played 80 consecutive games away from home dating back to the end of the 2011 season. The Bearcats will likely make it 81 straight with a scheduled game at Cornell on Wednesday before BU christens its new facility with a three-game weekend series against Albany.