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Binghamton Baseball beats Auburn 11-5 for first SEC win since 2010

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AUBURN, Alab. - Senior outfielder Jake Thomas went 4-for-5 with five RBI and Binghamton baseball (1-1) lit up Auburn pitching for 11 runs on 14 hits in an 11-5 win over the Tigers (1-1) Saturday afternoon from Plainsman Park.

The win was BU's second-ever over an SEC school, with the first coming against Tennessee in 2010 (7-4). Having split the first two games of the three-game series, BU and Auburn will play the rubber game at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

"It was a great effort from a lot of different guys today," head coach Tim Sinicki said. "Just a total team effort and win."

Thomas had a stellar day at the plate and his three-run home run with one out in the fifth inning snapped a 2-2 tie and gave the Bearcats a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Senior center fielder Zach Blanden led off the fifth with a walk and junior third baseman David Schanz was hit by a pitch, putting two aboard for Thomas, who rode an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall.

After the Tigers trimmed their deficit with single runs in the fourth and fifth frames, sophomore shortstop Brendan Skidmore gave BU some breathing room with a one-out, two-run double to center in the top of the seventh. The Bearcats then tacked on four more runs on four hits in the eighth - with the big blow coming when Thomas ripped a two-run triple to right center.

Junior starter Mike Bunal (W, 1-0) got the win after going 4.0 innings and allowing just one earned run on four hits. Senior reliever Mike Urbanski went 3.1 innings and worked out of a key jam in the fifth. He entered with the bases loaded and BU protecting a 5-3 lead and stifled the threat with a strikeout and groundout. Urbanski allowed two runs in his outing before senior Anthony Grillini went the final scoreless 1.1 innings.

Thomas tied his career-high with the four hits. Skidmore went 2-for-5 with three RBI and Schanz and freshman catcher Jason Agresti had two hits apiece. Blanden walked three times and scored three runs. Schanz also made a sparkling defensive play in the fourth inning after he went sprawling into the Auburn dugout to snare a foul ball.

Biinghamton scored runs off six different Auburn pitchers and for the second straight day, drew praise from Tigers' skipper Sunny Golloway.

"They have some guys in the infield making plays and their outfielders get to the ball," Golloway said. "They didn't make many mistakes today. We knew they would swing it good ... they were aggressive at the plate and I was impressed with the way they fielded the ball. It put pressure on our club to be behind early. There are no 'gimmies' ... we are facing a solid Binghamton team that doesn't beat itself. We'll have to try and win the series on Sunday."

(Courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)