Immediate Release: May 13, 2007
VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton (24-16) and visiting New Jersey Institute of Technology (12-23) traded outstanding pitching performances in a doubleheader split Sunday afternoon from Varsity Field. The Highlanders won the opener 3-1 before BU countered in game two, 3-2.
In the opener, NJIT pitcher Rob Pietroccola allowed just three hits in a complete-game victory. He struck out five and worked around seven walks in nine innings. The Bearcats stranded 11 runners and the Highlanders broke a 1-1 tie with two decisive runs in the seventh inning against senior starter Mike Van Gorder (Vestal, N.Y.). Van Gorder (5-3) went 6.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Senior right fielder Jeff Monaco (Binghamton, N.Y.) gave BU its lone run with an RBI double in the sixth inning.
In game two, sophomore Jeff Dennis (North Syracuse, N.Y.) was stellar, allowing just one hit and one earned run in 6.0 innings. Dennis (4-1, 2.30 ERA) fanned five and gave up only a NJIT single to start the game. The Bearcats broke a 2-2 tie with the game-winning run in the sixth inning. In that frame, senior catcher Pat Haughie (St. James, N.Y.) was hit by pitch to lead off. Junior Ryan James (Wading River, N.Y.) ran for Haughie and was sacrificed to second by sophomore left fielder Ken Jacobi (Milford, Conn.). James took third on a fly out by senior designated hitter Mike Papili (Lancaster, N.Y.). Freshman center fielder Henry Dunn (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) then dropped down a perfect two-out bunt single, scoring James.
Junior closer Khalid Afify (Binghamton, N.Y.) pitched a 1-2-3 seventh for his school-record sixth save of the season.
The Bearcats will head to Maine for the final four-game series of the regular season next weekend. Binghamton (15-4) holds a two-game lead on second-place Stony Brook (13-6), who plays four games at last place UMBC. The America East Championship tournament will take place on May 24-26 at a site to be determined. Binghamton and Stony Brook have already clinched spots in the four-team event.
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