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Baseball drops conference opener at UMBC 7-4
Retrievers snap 4-4 tie with three runs in 7th; BU strands 10 baserunners
March 16, 2013Tweet
Contact: John Hartrick (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BALTIMORE, Md.—UMBC snapped a 4-4 tie with three decisive runs in the seventh inning and Binghamton baseball (8-5, 0-1 AE) stranded 10 runners in a 7-4 loss to the host Retrievers (3-5, 1-0 AE) in the America East opener for both teams Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. Due to sketchy weather, the teams only played a single game on Saturday and will complete the three-game series with a twinbill Sunday beginning at noon.
The Bearcats entered the day having won 21 consecutive games against UMBC. Binghamton owned a commanding 34-3 lead in the series since the Retrievers joined the America East in 2004. But BU couldn’t make a 4-2 lead hold up and saw the team’s four-game win streak snapped.
Binghamton opened the scoring with a run in the second inning but left the bases loaded in the frame. UMBC grabbed the lead with two runs in the bottom of the second before BU reclaimed the lead with two in the third. The Bearcats then doubled their lead with another run in the fourth. But the offense was kept off the board over the final five innings and UMBC rallied with one run in the fourth, another in the sixth and the three tiebreaking runs in the seventh.
The Bearcats had an opportunity in the eighth inning with runners on first second and no outs. With the tying run at the plate, an infield pop-up resulted in a runner doubled-off third and then a fly ball ended the threat and the inning. Binghamton went down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the game.
Junior shortstop John Howell went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Howell delivered a two-out RBI single in the second inning to open the scoring. Sophomore right fielder Zach Blanden went 2-for-5 with an RBI in his first game from the leadoff spot. The Bearcats began what is likely to be an extended period of time without leadoff hitter and center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz, who suffered an injury in the final game at NC A&T.
Down 2-1, BU plated two runs in the third on an RBI double from junior second baseman Daniel Nevares and a sacrifice fly from senior first baseman Jordon Smucker. The RBI was Smucker’s league-leading 20th of the season. But the Bearcats stranded another runner - this time at third base - and left six runners stalled in the first four innings alone. Binghamton did extend its lead to 4-2 in the fourth thanks to a Blanden RBI double.
UMBC got rolling with one run in its half of the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single. In the sixth, the Retrievers hit back-to-back doubles to bring home the tying run and chase BU starter Jake Lambert. Binghamton’s No. 1 starter scattered six hits and three earned runs in 5.1 innings. Sophomore reliever Mike Kaufman went the final 2.2 innings and was saddled with the loss.
Junior Jack Rogalla (2-0, 2.25 ERA) will start Game 1 on Saturday and senior Jay Lynch (1-1, 5.02 ERA) will pitch the nightcap.