Immediate Release: May 13, 2005
VESTAL, N.Y. - Junior third baseman Mathieu Bergeron (St. Celestin, Quebec) belted a dramatic two-run, walk-off home run to win game one and freshman pitcher Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ontario) fired a two-hit shutout in game two, leading Binghamton (22-20-1, 11-5 America East) to a sweep of Hartford (6-25, 3-14 AE) in an America East baseball doubleheader Friday afternoon from Varsity Field. With the two wins, the Bearcats move to within percentage points of first place Northeastern (10-4) in the league standings, and reduce their magic number to two to clinch a first-ever conference playoff berth.
Bergeron provided the heroics in the opener, rescuing Binghamton after the Hawks had carried a 9-6 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. Senior left fielder Keith Ford (Broken Arrow, Okla.) led off the ninth with a walk and scored on a triple by sophomore shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa.). Sophomore first baseman Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa.) then plated Smucker with a single to left, setting the stage for Bergeron's third game-winning hit of the season. On an 0-2 pitch, he drilled a line shot well over the 390-foot wall in center field, completing the comeback. The home run was his 15th of the season, eclipsing the school record of 14 that he shared with Jay Balback (2004). He leads the America East in both home runs and RBI (53).
Prior to their final at-bat, the Bearcats managed just four hits over eight innings, and had to rally from 6-1 down to get back in the game.
Senior designated hitter Jamie Boyer (Lancaster, Pa.) continued his hot hand with three RBI - two on a sixth inning single that knotted the score at 6-6. Boyer is hitting .533 with seven RBI in his last five games (8-for-15). Hitchcock and Smucker drove in two runs apiece.
In the nightcap, Diamond, a 6-foot-2 lefthander, tossed his second consecutive complete-game shutout, allowing only a Hawks single in the fourth inning and another in the fifth inning. He struck out six to post his fourth win of the season. Diamond hasn't allowed a run in his last 15 1/3 innings and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 24 1/3 innings (0.74 ERA).
Hitchcock, who bumped his league-leading average up to .408 with a 4-for-8, four-RBI day, stroked a two-run single in the third inning to put BU on the board. Boyer then delivered an RBI single in the fourth and a solo home run in the sixth inning to account for the scoring. The home run was his eighth of the season and 27th of his career, which ties the school record set by Balback (2003-04).
Boyer went 3-for-6 with five RBI in the doubleheader.
The teams will complete the three-game set with a nine-inning contest at noon on Saturday.
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