• Home

Bearcats drop season opener to Auburn

Posted:
AUBURN, Alab. – Host Auburn scored single runs in the first and fourth innings and four Tigers pitchers kept Binghamton at bay in a 2-0 win in the season opener for both teams Friday afternoon at Plainsman Park. The game was the first of three between the two teams this weekend.

The Bearcats brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning after junior second baseman Reed Gamache hit a one-out single to left field. But a strikeout and groundout ended the threat and the game.

Three Binghamton hitters limited the SEC member Tigers to seven hits, keeping BU within striking range throughout. Senior No. 1 Greg Ostner was solid in his first outing of the season. Ostner went 4.1 innings and scattered two runs on six hits. He struck out a pair and stranded four Tigers on the base paths before giving way to junior Vincent Caputo, who allowed just one hit in 2.2 scoreless innings. Sophomore righty Nicholas Liegi pitched the final scoreless inning as the BU bullpen shined in its opening performance.

"I'm proud of the way we competed today," head coach Tim Sinicki said. "We saw a trio of very good arms who never really allowed us to get going on offense. And the one time we got guys in scoring position their guy made some great pitches."

Auburn opened the scoring with a two-out solo home run to left center in the first inning. The Tigers then added another two-out scoring hit – this time an RBI single in the fourth frame.

The Bearcats had their best opportunity in the top of the sixth inning. Senior center fielder Zach Blanden drew a one-out walk and on a hit-and-run, junior third baseman David Schanz singled to center field, moving Blanden to third. But BU's 3-4 hitters each struck out to end the threat.

Binghamton put runners on base in five of the last six innings but 15 strikeouts hampered any extended offense.

"I thought Binghamton made some good plays," Auburn head coach Sunny Golloway said postgame. "They haven't been outside as much as we have – and to make no errors … that's a good outing. It was a tight ballgame. They are an experienced ball club and they played in the NCAA Regional last year so it was a good win today."

Senior right fielder Jake Thomas recorded BU's first hit of the season with a sharp hit single with two outs in the fourth inning.

Junior Mike Bunal takes the hill for the Bearcats in Saturday's Game 2, set for a 4 p.m. start. Like Friday's opener, Saturday's game will be shown on the SECN+ digital platform on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)