BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Visiting Binghamton (5-12-1) belted 22 hits in two games but had to settle for a doubleheader split with Lehigh (8-7) Sunday afternoon. The Bearcats posted a 15-1 victory in the opener, but fell 9-3 in the nightcap.
In game one, BU received a strong pitching performance from senior Jake Thiel (San Bruno, Calif./Canada College) and backed it up with a 15-run offensive barrage. Thiel took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and wound up tossing a two-hitter with five strikeouts. Lehigh managed a one-out double and a two-out RBI single to break up the shutout.
Offensively, the game belonged to junior left fielder Joe Costello (Ventnor, N.J./Cumberland CC). Costello went 5-for-5 with a home run, triple and three singles. He drove in four runs and scored three, as BU plated 12 runs in the game's first three innings to pull away early. Sophomore catcher Chris Darling (Whitesboro, N.Y.) drove in three runs, and freshman shortstop Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) knocked in a pair.
In game two, BU collected 10 hits but stranded 12 baserunners in the defeat. Costello continued his hot bat with a 3-for-4 exhibition. He raised his team-best batting average to .414, and also has an .810 slugging percentage. Junior third baseman Jay Balback (Millsboro, Del./Indiana Inst. of Tech.) delivered a two-run home run in the fifth inning, but Lehigh had already scored the game's first five runs. Smucker went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Binghamton will next play a three-game series at Youngstown State (Ohio) next Saturday and Sunday.
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