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For Immediate Release: March 3, 2007
Contact: John Hartrick (hartrick@binghamton.edu)
Phone: 607-777-6800

Binghamton baseball splits season-opening twinbill at Norfolk State
Bearcats drop opener 12-5, win pitching duel in the nightcap 2-1

Game 1 Box
Game 2 Box

NORFOLK, Va. - Binghamton baseball (1-1) split its season-opening doubleheader with Norfolk State (8-6) Saturday afternoon at Marty L. Miller Field. The Spartans won the opener, 12-5, before Binghamton prevailed in a well-pitched nightcap, 2-1.

In game one, Norfolk State tagged Binghamton for a season-high 16 hits and broke open a five-all tie with a seven-run bottom of the fifth. The Spartans pulled ahead courtesy of a bases-loaded walk and followed with pair of two-run doubles to create the final margin.

Trailing 5-0 after four innings, the Bearcats staged a two-out, five-run rally. Senior Justin Smucker (Bird-in-Hand, Pa.) and sophomore Kyle Klee (Rochester, N.Y.) both had RBI singles before senior second baseman Matt Simek (Vestal, N.Y.) capped off the comeback with a three-run shot to draw even. Simek finished 3-for-4 with three RBI in the opener.

Reigning America East Pitcher of the Year junior Zach Groh (Reading, Pa.) pitched six innings of one-run ball, pacing the Bearcats to a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.

Groh yielded just four hits and fanned six in his 2007 debut. BU closer junior righthander Khalid Afify (Binghamton, N.Y.) closed the door on the Spartans, pitching a 1-2-3 seventh inning to record the save

Senior first baseman and cleanup hitter Brendon Hitchcock (Laceyville, Pa.) provided all the offense BU would need, going 2-for-4 and plating both Bearcat runs. Hitchcock stroked a run-scoring single in the third and followed with a two-out RBI double in the fifth.

The two teams will play a single nine-inning game at noon on Sunday.

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