Release: May 22, 2009
ENDICOTT, N.Y. -- For the second straight night, top-seeded Binghamton (28-20) staged a big rally, this time scoring 10 straight runs to defeat second-seeded Albany (25-30-1) 11-7 in a winners' bracket game of the America East Championship Friday night at Pete Sylvester Field. With the win, BU advances to Saturday night's 8 p.m. championship game, needing just one more win to seize the program's first-ever conference title and NCAA tournament berth. The Bearcats will await the winner of the Albany-Vermont afternoon game, and that team will have to beat BU twice in the double-elimination format.
Down 7-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Binghamton plated four runs in the fourth, three in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. After a rocky start, BU pitchers steadied themselves, allowing just two Great Dane hits and no runs over the final five innings.
Forced into his first collegiate relief appearance, freshman No. 4 starter Mike Augliera (5-3) went 5.1 innings and scattered six hits and one earned run, keeping the Bearcats in the game until the offense caught fire. Sophomore reliever Morgan Smith pitched 2.1 innings of hitless relief to earn his first collegiate save.
The Bearcats struck for four runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman first baseman Dave Ciocchi belted his fifth home run of the season to lead off the frame. Then with two outs, junior second baseman Jim Calderone drilled an RBI single and after sophomore center fielder Henry Dunn was hit by a pitch, senior third baseman Kyle Klee followed with a two-run shot to center to trim the deficit to 7-5.
In the fifth, BU scored three runs on two hits to grab an 8-7 lead. Ciocchi was hit by a pitch to lead off, junior left fielder Joe Charron was walked and after sophomore right fielder Peter Bregartner moved them over with a sacrifice, junior shortstop Jeff Abrams hit a 2-2 pitch through the left side for an RBI single. Sophomore catcher C.J. Lukaszewski then pushed a bunt single between the mound and first and the Albany pitcher threw wild to home, allowing Charon to score. Abrams then scampered home on a wild pitch to give BU its first lead.
In the seventh, Abrams led off with a hard single and moved to second on a Lukaszewski sacrifice. After a Calderone groundout, Dunn reached on a catching error on the first baseman, allowing Abrams to score. Klee then floated an RBI infield single past the mound to score Dunn from third for an 11-7 lead.
Klee went 2-for-5 with three RBI, Ciocchi was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Calderone and Abrams had two hits and an RBI apiece.
Albany committed six errors which led to eight unearned runs.
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