Immediate Release: May 25, 2007
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. - Third-seeded Albany (28-27) erupted for five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to stun top-seeded Binghamton (27-18) 8-7 in an America East tournament winner's bracket game Friday night from Farmington State College. The Bearcats were one out away from a comfortable victory before the Great Danes strung together five hits and five runs - all with two out. Albany was aided by a throwing error that would've ended the game four batters into the inning. Binghamton will now face Maine at 12:05 p.m. on Saturday, and will need to win three straight games to claim the conference title.
Binghamton received a strong starting pitching outing for the second straight day and its offense was explosive, digging into Albany's bullpen by the third inning. But after building a 7-2 lead, the Bearcats couldn't close it out, and the Great Danes staged one of the most dramatic comebacks in tournament history. The game-winning hit was a two-out single to shallow right center by Tom Hill, which scored Steve Wyland from second. Wyland had delivered a big blow with a bases-clearing double to left center.
Senior pitcher Mike Van Gorder (Vestal, N.Y.) scattered three hits and two runs over five innings and freshman Murphy Smith (Clifton Park, N.Y.) worked three innings, allowing one run on four hits. Smith worked out of 2-on, 1-out jam in the sixth inning - thanks to a key strikeout-throwout play. He struck out Steve Sayre and then senior catcher Pat Haughie (St. James) threw out Sean Donovan attempting to steal second.
The Bearcats opened the scoring in the second inning when Haughie (St. James, N.Y.) produced an RBI groundout to score sophomore third baseman Kyle Klee (Rochester, N.Y.), who was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Earlier in the at-bat, Haughie just missed a three-run home run when his blast well over the left field wall was ruled foul.
A four-hit, three-double barrage in the third inning stretched the lead to 4-0. Senior shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa.) opened with a double and scored on a double from junior right fielder Ryan James (Wading River, N.Y.). Senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y.) hit an RBI single and Klee followed with a run-scoring double.
Afte the Great Danes scored single runs in the third and fourth innings to trim their deficit to 4-2, BU's offense struck again with a run on three straight hits in the fifth. The last of the trio of singles was an RBI by Simek. Albany reduced the damage by working out of a bases-loaded, no-out situation.
Simek blasted a solo home run over the left field fence in the seventh inning and BU added an unearned run in the eighth for a 7-2 cushion. Albany got one run back in the eighth to set the stage for the ninth-inning fireworks.
Simek went 3-for-5 with three RBI. James was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. In two tournament games, Simek is 5-for-10 with five RBI and James is 6-for-8 with three RBI.
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