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Bearcats lose to Lafayette 9-8
EASTON, Pa.- Freshman Rob Fioretti smacked a sacrifice fly deep to left field to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Lafayette squeaked out a 9-8 victory over Binghamton in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday at Metzgar Field.
Senior Vince' D'Angelis reached on an error to lead off the ninth. Sophomore Craig Alexander singled D'Angelis to third and Alexander moved to second on the play. Junior Matt Tambellini stepped to the plate and Binghamton chose to intentionally walk him to load the bases. With the outfield and infield drawn in, Fioretti smacked a fly to left to bring home D'Angelis for the win.
Lafayette improves to 20-15, the Leopards' first 20-win season since 1992. Binghamton goes to 14-24.
Lafayette jumped on Binghamton early in the game, scoring five runs in the second inning. The Leopards used two hits and two errors against Binghamton starter Johnmin Hickey. Alexander led off the inning with a single. Hickey then hit Tambellini to move Alexander to second. The next batter, Fioretti hit a double-play ball up the middle. The Bearcats got one out but the throw to first for the potential second out went wide and allowed Alexander to score. Senior Jason Moll 's foul out plated Tambellini. Fioretti scored when the throw attempting to get Tambellini at the plate went into the visitors' dugout. Senior Tye Gonser drove in a run with a groundout to first to give Lafayette a 4-0 lead. Boyd roped a two-out RBI-double to right to put Lafayette up 5-0.
Sophomore starter Brendon Ripley cruised on the mound, allowing just two hits in the first four innings. The only damage came from Jamie Boyer who led off the fourth inning with his fourth homer of the season to make it 4-1.
Ripley left the game after five full innings. He allowed three hits and one run before giving way to senior reliever Kevin Swords to start the sixth. Binghamton got to Swords for two runs in the sixth. With runners on first and second and one out, Kyle Loucks hit a ground ball. The Leopards retired a runner at second, but the try at first for a double play was low and allowed Boyer to score. Tim Collar made it 5-3 when he plated Loucks. Both runs in the inning were unearned.
Binghamton took a 6-5 lead in its next at-bat. Jacob Thiel led off the inning with a solo shot to left field. Tyler McGonigal followed with a single up the middle that chased Swords from the mound. A walk and a sacrifice off reliever Hank Fichtner put runners at second and third with one out. Boyer hit a deep fly ball to left to score McGonigal and tie the game at 5-5. The Bearcats' got the go-ahead run from Tony Berube who singled up the middle. The inning ended when Berube was cut down trying to steal on a 2-6-3-4-1 put out.
Lafayette reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Boyd connected for a one-out home run over the left field fence, his second of the season. Tambellini also drove in a run in the inning with his second hit of the day, a single to right. Leading 7-6, head coach Joe Kinney put on the suicide squeeze with Fioretti at the plate. The freshman came through with a bunt single to score Alexander and give Lafayette an 8-6 lead.
The Binghamton eighth inning kept the seesaw affair going. The Bearcats struck for two runs off Lafayette reliever Paul Fischetti, scoring on a wild pitch and an RBI-single by McGonigal.
Fischetti retired the Bearcats in order in the top of the ninth and Fioretti's sac fly in the Leopards' last at-bat sealed the 9-8 win. Fischetti (2-1) threw two innings and allowed two runs on three hits and two strikeouts. Greg Sousa (4-5), who came on to face Lafayette in the last of the ninth, took the loss. Sousa threw one third of an inning and allowed one run on one hit and a walk.
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