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Baseball rolls past Albany 9-0 in tourney opener
Lambert fires two-hit complete-game shutout; No. 2 BU advances in winner's bracket
May 22, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LOWELL, Mass.—Binghamton baseball (28-22) scored seven unearned runs and senior starter Jake Lambert (6-2) shut down Albany with a complete-game two-hit shutout as the Bearcats advanced in the winner’s bracket of the America East tournament with a 9-0 win over the Great Danes (23-24-1) Thursday night at LeLacheur Park. Binghamton will face top-seeded Maine in Thursday night’s 8 p.m. game. The Black Bears defeated Stony Brook 7-0 in the opening game of the day.
After the teams waited out a 54-minute rain delay to start, Albany faltered in the field and the Bearcats took advantage of seven errors to gain a postseason win over their SUNY rivals for a second straight year. While the Great Danes struggled on the slick field, BU played an error-free game.
In one of the finest postseason pitching performances in school history, Lambert surrendered two infield hits and struck out six in the complete game - the first time he has gone 9.0 innings in his two-year BU career. Lambert retired the side in order in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings and got a double play in the ninth before a fly ball to center finished off his gem.
The Bearcats opened the scoring with an unearned run in the second inning. Junior DH Shaun McGraw hit a one-out double just inside third base and raced around to third as the left fielder misplayed the ball. Junior first baseman Brian Ruby plated McGraw with a sacrifice fly.
One inning later, junior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz drew a one-out walk and after a double from sophomore right fielder Zach Blanden, Bereszniewicz scored when the Albany outfielder overran the ball.
Binghamton piled on three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings as the Great Danes compounded their trouble with five errors in the two frames. In the fourth, Blanden and freshman third baseman David Schanz were each hit by pitches with the bases loaded and those runs made it 5-0. In the fifth, McGraw notched another hit and Ruby followed with an RBI single. Sophomore catcher Nick Pancerella brought in the seventh run with a sacrifice fly and Ruby scored on an infield scoring error to make it 8-0.
The Bearcats put their ninth and final run on the board in the sixth. Sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas was pelted in the back to start the inning and junior second baseman Daniel Nevares ripped an RBI double down the left field line.
McGraw went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Ruby drove in two and scored twice.
The nine-run winning margin was BU’s largest since beating Albany 16-6 in the championship game of the 2009 tournament… Lambert’s two-hitter matched the fewest hits he’s allowed in two seasons. On April 20, he gave up two hits in eight innings of work against UMBC. His complete-game shutout was just the second solo shutout in BU’s eight-year America East tournament history. Mike Augliera, who pitched on the same mound with the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox Class A team) last spring, tossed a shutout to beat Maine 6-0 in the 2010 tournament. In 2008, Murphy Smith (8 inn.) and Greg Lane (1 inn.) combined for BU’s other shutout - a 4-0 win over Vermont. The Bearcats, who lead the conference in fielding percentage (.974), improved to 18-4 when committing fewer errors than their opponent… Binghamton has won seven of its last 10 games… the Bearcats won the postgame coin flip with Maine and will be the home team for Thursday night’s game.