Sunday, September 21, 2014 - 4:06:12 AM

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Binghamton Baseball beats Maine 8-2 and Softball Sweeps Hartford with 10-3 win.

VESTAL, N.Y. - Junior left fielder Jake Thomas blasted two home runs - a grand slam and a two-run home run - and his career-high six RBI carried Binghamton baseball (12-19, 6-8 America East) to an 8-2 win over visiting Maine (14-21, 5-7 AE) in the rubber game of the three-game series Sunday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex.

After absorbing two hit pitches earlier in the game, Thomas issued his own pain in the sixth inning. With the Bearcats clinging to a 2-1 lead, he hit a towering grand slam - the first of his career. Back-to-back one-out singles by junior right fielder Zach Blanden and senior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz and a walk to senior second baseman Daniel Nevares loaded the bases. Thomas then drove the first pitch he saw from Black Bears’ pitcher Scott Heath well over the wall in right field for a 6-1 cushion.

After Maine got one run back in the seventh, Thomas went back to work in the eighth. Moments after Miley Cyrus music inadvertently played over the PA system, Thomas continued his “wrecking ball” attack on Black Bears pitching by searing a 2-1 pitch over the right-field fence for a two-run homer. It was the second two-homer game of the season and third of his career.

Two weeks ago against UMBC, Thomas belted a three-run homer and then a solo blast in a win over UMBC. Last May at Albany, he blasted a pair of two-run shots.

The pair of Thomas blasts helped make amends after BU left the bases loaded in three of the first five innings. Binghamton scored single runs in the second and third frames but couldn’t register the big hit to extend its lead. Maine wound up outhitting the Bearcats 9-8 but Black Bear pitchers walked four batters and hit five, aiding BU’s offense.

Before Thomas unloaded in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore starter Jake Cryts (W, 3-4) worked out of a jam in the top of the inning to preserve the one-run lead. With one out, three straight Maine hitters reached base (two singles and an error) before Cryts induced two straight pop-ups to strand three. The Black Bears left nine on-base and BU had 10 LOB.

Cryts surrendered two runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings. He struck out one and walked one. Freshman Jextin Pugh tossed 2.1 perfect innings to close it out. Pugh came in with two runners on in the seventh and got a fly ball to center to thwart Maine’s rally. He then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and then allowed no hits in the ninth.
Thomas went 2-for-3 with the two home runs and six RBI.

Bereszniewicz went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Senior DH Shaun McGraw had an RBI single to the wall in the third inning and freshman catcher Eddie Posavec earned the other RBI on a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.

With the win, defending champion Binghamton moved past Maine and into fourth position in the America East standings with nine conference games remaining.

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VESTAL, N.Y. – Sophomore catcher Taylor Chaffee homered twice and drove in four runs, powering Binghamton (18-18, 8-3 AE) to a 10-3 win over Hartford (7-25, 1-11 AE) in an America East softball game on Sunday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. With the victory, the Bearcats sweep the three-game conference series and have won six of their past seven games.

Chaffee was one of four Binghamton players with a pair of hits. Sophomore first baseman Lisa Cadogan was 2-for-4 with a home run and a pair of RBI while sophomore outfielder Sydney Harbaugh was 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Junior shortstop Caytlin Friis, meanwhile, finished the day 2-for-3.

In addition, freshman outfielder Gabby Bracchi extended her hitting streak to 16 games with an infield single in the first inning. She now has the second-longest hitting streak in program history, trailing only Deannie Plemon’s 17-game hitting streak in 2010.

Bracchi opened the scoring when she stole home on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning. Later in the inning, Cadogan and freshman outfielder Bridget Hunt each belted a RBI double.
Binghamton blew the game open with four more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Harbaugh smacked a two-run triple and two batters later, Chaffee belted a two-run home run.

Amber Andrew, who went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, broke the shutout when she scored on a groundout in the top of the third inning. The Hawks added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning, one of which came on a RBI single by Andrew.
Chaffee and Cadogan gave the Bearcats breathing room when they hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Chaffee’s came with a runner on base.

Freshman pitcher Annika Wiesinger improved to 6-9 on the season while Ana Alberti fell to 2-4. Senior pitcher Demi Laney pitched three scoreless innings to record her second save of the season.
Harbaugh, who is now batting a team-high .350 for the season, went 5-for-7 (.714) in the series against Hartford, reached base nine times and scored seven runs. She now has a career-high, 10-game hitting streak.

As a team, the Bearcats hit .378 against the Hawks.

(Courtesy: Binghamton Bearcats Athletic Website)

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