Release: May 22, 2008
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. Top-seeded Binghamton (28-25) advanced in the America East tournament winner's bracket with a 4-1 win over fourth-seeded Vermont (26-23) Thursday afternoon from Farmingdale State College. The Bearcats will meet the winner of the Stony Brook/UMBC game Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
In a battle of the top two pitchers in the conference, senior Zach Groh (Reading, Pa.) and Vermont ace Joe Serafin were locked in a classic pitcher's duel with Groh and all-star closer Greg Lane (Binghamton, N.Y.) ultimately gaining the edge over the 2008 America East Pitcher of the Year.
Groh (6-3), a three-time first-team all-star and 2006 Pitcher of the Year, struck out 10 and allowed just four hits - all singles - in 7.1 innings. Serafin pitched a complete-game and allowed six hits and one earned run. Lane pitched the final 1.2 innings and struck out three to post his league-leading 11th save.
"Zach was outstanding for us today," head coach Tim Sinicki said. " He pitched the way you expect your No. 1 guy to pitch in a tournament format. He held them in check and allowed our offense to score late, which has been a winning formula for us all season."
Freshman third baseman Brian Ivan (Toronto, Ontario) snapped a 1-1 tie with a one-out, solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning and junior first baseman Ryan Holley (Frankfort, Ill.) ripped a two-out, two-run home run in the eighth to give BU its three-run cushion.
Groh matched his season-high with the 10 strikeouts, including two pressure- packed "K's" in the seventh inning. Vermont trailed 1-0 before stringing together three hits and a run to tie the game at 1-1. The Catamounts then loaded the bases with one out, but Groh dug in and recorded back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and keep the game deadlocked.
Ivan then answered Vermont's run with a shot high over the left field wall for his fourth home run of the season.
In the eighth, Bregartner made a diving catch to rob Vermont leadoff hitter Eric Fredette of a hit and after a walk, Groh was lifted in favor of Lane, the league-leader in saves with 11. With the tying run on first and one out, Lane struck out back-to-back Catamounts to end the threat.
Holley then gave BU two more insurance runs with his sixth round-tripper of the spring. Senior Ryan James (Wading River, N.Y.) led off with a single and three batters later, Holley drove a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right center.
In the ninth, Lane allowed a leadoff single and fanned another Catamount before James snared a line drive at second and doubled up the Vermont runner to end the game.
The Bearcats opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. After a 40-minute rain delay and a 1-2-3 Vermont first frame, freshman Peter Bregartner (East Islip, N.Y.) drew a leadoff walk. James dropped down a sacrifice bunt and the Vermont third baseman threw it away into center field trying to get Bregartner at second. He advanced to third and scored on a double-play groundout from sophomore Joe Charron (Schaghticoke, N.Y.).
Serafin held BU hitless for 5 2/3 innings before junior Kyle Klee (Rochester, N.Y.) hit an infield single to deep short. Groh was equally masterful, posting eight strikeouts and allowing just one hit in his first six innings.
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