For Immediate Release: April 24, 2004
Contact: John Hartrick (
Phone: 607-777-6800

Bearcats gain split with Maine with 12th inning heroics

Maine 6, Binghamton 2
Binghamton 8, Maine 7 (12 inn.)

VESTAL, N.Y.--After 21 innings and 6 1/2 hours of baseball, Binghamton (16-11, 6-2 America East) and Maine (19-16, 4-4 AE) split a twinbill on Saturday, with the visiting Black Bears claiming game one, 6-2, and BU gaining a split with a thrilling 8-7 12-inning win in the nightcap.

In game two, the teams engaged in five extra innings before the Bearcats erased a 7-5 deficit with three deciding runs in the bottom of the 12th inning. The big blow was a two-run single from junior third baseman Brian Lindsay (Horseheads, N.Y.), which scored scored seniors Joe Costello (Ventnor, N.J.) and Jay Balback (Millsboro, Del.). Then with two outs, junior shortstop Keith Ford (Broken Arrow, Okla.) hit a sharply-hit ball to short, and after the Maine infielder bobbled the grounder, Ford beat the throw on a head-first dive. Freshman second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y.) scampered home with the winning run. Simek had earlier reached base on a bunt single and advanced to third on Lindsay's hit.

Freshman reliever Zach Groh (Reading, Pa.) earned his third win of the season after recording the final two outs of the 12th inning. He took over for junior Chris Darling (Whitesboro, N.Y.), who kept BU in the game with five strong innings of relief. Darling struck out six and allowed four hits and a pair of runs.

The Bearcats jumped on Maine starter Troy Martin with five runs in the first inning - three off the bat of junior first baseman Jamie Boyer (Lancaster, Pa.), who blasted a three-run shot. Maine chipped away with three runs in the fourth, one in the sixth and another in the seventh to force extra-innings. The teams then played four scoreless frames before the Black Bears scored twice to take their short-lived 7-5 lead.

Simek went 2-for-6 with an RBI and Boyer went 2-for-5 with the three runs driven in.

In the opener, Maine struck for two runs in the top of the third inning and added single runs in the fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth to gradually pull away from the Bearcats. Senior outfielder Scott Williams had two hits and drove in three runs for the Black Bears, while junior shortstop Mike Ferriggi doubled twice and scored three runs. Winning pitcher Mike MacDonald (4-1) scattered 10 hits and two walks over 8.2, striking out five batters. He allowed just a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning. Sophomore reliever Scott Robinson got the final out for his fourth save.

In the fifth inning, the Bearcats loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles and a Maine error. Senior right fielder T.J. Kowalchuk (Stormville, N.Y./Carmel) then worked out a walk to force home Binghamton's first run, and senior left fielder Joe Costello (Ventnor, N.J./Cumberland CC) followed with a sacrifice fly to left. However, two fly balls ended the rally and Binghamton didn't threaten again until the ninth. Back-to-back singles with two outs brought Costello to the plate with the potential tying run on deck, but Maine secured the win on a flyout.

The Bearcats and Black Bears conclude their weekend series with a single nine-inning game on Sunday. The start time for that game has been moved up to 11 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather later in the day.


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