Immediate Release: April 23, 2011
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Binghamton baseball (15-18, 7-2 AE) received two strong pitching performances and came up with a pair of extra-inning walk-off hits to sweep a doubleheader from visiting Hartford (3-27-1, 1-7 AE) Saturday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium. The Bearcats won the opener in nine innings, 3-2, before taking the nightcap 1-0, also in nine innings. After blanking the Hawks over the final 19 innings of play, BU has now won 11 of its last 14 games.
In game one, junior first baseman Dave Ciocchi drilled a two-out, 3-2 pitch off the right field wall to score senior catcher C.J. Lukaszewski with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning (second extra inning). Lukaszewski had doubled with two out.
The clutch hit by Ciocchi erased the frustration of several missed scoring opportunities in the late innings. The Bearcats left runners stranded in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and stranded 10 in all. Hartford turned double plays to get out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings.
Meanwhile, senior pitcher James Giulietti was efficient in his longest stint of the season. Giulietti (3-4) scattered six hits and two runs in a nine-inning complete game. He worked out of a jam of his own in the sixth, stranding runners at second and third with a strikeout and lineout. Giulietti struck out five, walked none and only allowed three hits over his final eight scoreless innings.
Giulietti gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning before BU rallied. The Bearcats got one run back in the second on an RBI single by sophomore third baseman Jordon Smucker. The hit scored senior right fielder Peter Bregartner, who had doubled earlier in the inning. Smucker then struck again in the fourth with a fielder's choice grounder that brought home the tying run.
Bregartner went 3-for-4 and Smucker wound up 2-for-4 with two RBI.
In game two, BU finally broke through in the second extra inning when senior designated hitter Jeff Skelhorne-Gross delivered a two-out single to right that scored Bregartner with the winning run. Bregartner doubled to left center with one out in the inning and Skelhorne-Gross followed by slicing a 3-2 pitch into shallow right. Bregartner just beat the throw home to set off the second walk-off celebration of the day.
Junior Mike Augliera was spectacular, tossing a three-hit, nine-inning shutout. Augliera (5-2) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter. He gave up all three hits in Hartford's second inning but got out of the jam with a 1-2-3 double play and foul fly out. He induced another double play to get out of the third inning and then put down the side in order the rest of the way (4th-9th innings), retiring 19 straight Hawks batters to end the game.
Bregartner went 3-for-4 to complete an outstanding day. He went 6-for-8 in the twinbill and also contributed seven putouts and a double-play assist from right field.
The two teams finish their four-game set with another doubleheader Sunday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. at Varsity Field.
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