Release: May 30, 2009
GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Sophomore outfielders Henry Dunn and Corey Taylor belted home runs and hot-hitting fourth-seeded Binghamton (30-21) eliminated third-seeded George Mason (42-14) 11-6 in an NCAA Regional game Saturday from Clark-LeClair Stadium. With the program's first-ever NCAA win, the Bearcats advance to play the loser of the East Carolina-South Carolina game at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Bearcats snapped a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fourth inning, added three more on the Dunn blast in the sixth and scored seven runs over the final three innings to pull away. Binghamton led 8-3 before before the Patriots tightened the score with a two-out, three-run home run in the eighth. After the blast brought GMU to within two, 8-6, senior closer Greg Lane entered and induced a groundout to close the eighth.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, freshman first baseman Dave Ciocchi kept up the offense with a two-out, two-run single through the right side. The Bearcats added three more runs before Lane pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his seventh save of the season.
"We answered the bell and scored a big win for our program," head coach Tim Sinicki said. "To come back after very little sleep and play back-to-back nine-inning games ... I wasn't sure how much the guys had left in the tank. But we got off to the quick start offensively and did a good job of answering George Mason whenever they scored. We played with confidence and our relief pitchers did what what asked of them."
Dunn drilled a two-out three-run home run in the sixth inning to push BU's lead to 7-2. After back-to-back two-out singles by junior shortstop Jeff Abrams and junior second baseman Jim Calderone, Dunn jumped on an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall for his second homer of the season.
Senior lefty Jeff Dennis scattered nine hits and two unearned runs over five innings. Dennis (6-5) struck out three and walked three before exiting. Freshman Mike Augliera gave up one run in 1 2/3 innings before sophomore Morgan Smith pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by inducing a weak groundout to second.
Binghamton jumped out to an early 2-0 lead when Taylor belted his school-record-tying 16th home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning. With junior second baseman Jim Calderone on third after a walk and successive groundouts, Taylor slammed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left.
George Mason tied it with a two-out, two-run single in the fourth but BU bounced back with two runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame. Junior shortstop Jeff Abrams delivered an RBI single to center and sophomore catcher Jeff Skelhorne-Gross collected a sacrifice fly to center.
Dennis worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth inning with a line-out to third and a strikeout.
Dunn went 2-for-5 with three RBI, Taylor and Ciocchi had two hits and two RBI apiece and Calderone went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Abrams had two hits and an RBI as well.
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