Bearcats split Sunday doubleheader
4/21/2013 (Updated 11:01:28 PM)VESTAL, N.Y.Senior pitcher Jay Lynch capped a masterful weekend by BU pitchers with eight scoreless innings of one-hit ball, leading Binghamton (19-14, 9-8 AE) to a doubleheader split with UMBC (10-20, 5-13 AE) Sunday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex. Binghamton won the nightcap 9-0 after losing the opener 1-0. Bearcats pitchers allowed one run in 25 innings of work as BU took two of three in the series.
Lynch (4-3) only allowed a single in the third inning and Binghamton stretched a 3-0 lead with six runs in the eighth. He struck out six and worked around four walks to lower his season ERA to 2.06. Lynch has allowed just one earned run in his last 21 innings. With the sizable cushion and more than 100 pitches in the books, Lynch gave way to sophomore Mike Urbanksi, who pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the shutout.
After managing just one run in the previous 17 innings against UMBC, BUs offense got untracked quickly in Game 2. Junior designated hitter Shaun McGraw belted a leadoff home run over the left field wall in the second inning to stake the Bearcats to an early 1-0 lead. Lynch worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the third and in the bottom of the frame, BU made it 3-0 with a pair of runs. Sophomore right fielder Zach Blanden was hit by pitch with one out and freshman third baseman David Schanz reached when his sacrifice bunt was thrown away by the UMBC pitcher. With runners on first and second, sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas ripped a 2-2 pitch down the right field line for an RBI double. Junior second baseman Daniel Nevares followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Blanden from third and making it 3-0.
With Lynch cruising, the Bearcats batted around and put the game away with a six-spot in the eighth. After Thomas was intentionally walked to load the bases, Nevares made the Retrievers pay for the decision with a two-run single up the middle. With one out, junior shortstop John Howell worked a bases-loaded walk to bring in another run and push the lead to 6-0. Sophomore catcher Nick Pancerella then delivered a two-run single to center and junior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz followed with an RBI groundout to plate the ninth run.
Nevares had three RBI, Pancerella drove in a pair and Thomas reached base in three of four plate appearances, lifting his NCAA-leading on-base percentage to .550. Aside from his RBI double, Thomas drew two walks and now has an America East-high 32 bases on balls, which ties the school record set by Brendon Hitchcock in 2007.
UMBC took the opener 1-0 as they scratched out the games lone run in the second inning to make a hard-luck loser out of junior starter Jack Rogalla, who pitched a strong 7.0 innings. Rogalla allowed just three hits and struck out seven but the offense was shut down on four hits. In the second frame, Rogalla walked the leadoff hitter and UMBCs Tom Gilchrist sent a ball to center that deflected off the glove of a backtracking Bereszniewicz for a double. With runners on second and third, the Retrievers scored the decisive run on a groundout to second.
Binghamton squandered a leadoff single in the second, hit into a double play in the fourth, left a runner stranded in scoring position in the fifth and left the tying run at second in the seventh and final frame. In that last at-bat, BU put two runners on after a hit batter and infield single but Gilchrist grabbed a foul fly off the bat of Howell in the right field corner and barely kept it in his glove as he brushed the fence for the final out.
McGraw went 2-for-3 and Thomas had two walks in three plate appearances.
The Bearcats continue a busy stretch at home with a non-conference game against Cornell on Tuesday. That game begins a seven-games-in-nine-days stretch, which culminates in a key three-game set against Stony Brook.
Maine leads the conference standings (13-4), followed by Albany (10-8), Binghamton (9-8), Hartford (9-9), Stony Brook (7-11) and UMBC (5-13).
(Courtesy: BU Athletics)
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