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Binghamton Baseball falls to Auburn 13-2 in series finale

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AUBURN, Alab. - Binghamton baseball received another stellar outing from its starting pitcher but host Auburn scored all 13 of its runs in the final three innings to post a 13-2 win over the Bearcats in Sunday's rubber game of the three-game series at Plainsman Park.

One day earlier, BU notched an 11-5 win for its second-ever win over an SEC program.

In his first start in a Bearcats uniform, junior pitcher Rob Hardy was outstanding, shutting down the Tigers in five scoreless innings. Hardy allowed just one single and struck out five. He retired the first nine Auburn hitters before working out of a jam in the fourth. The first hitter reached on an infield error and then Hardy gave up a single. But with runners on first and second, he recorded a strikeout and then inducted a double play to end the threat.

Offensively, BU got one run in the second inning on an RBI groundout by senior catcher Nick Pancerella. Freshman DH Jason Agresti reached on an error and went to third on a double by freshman shortstop Paul Rufo. The Bearcats missed a chance to get more when a strikeout and groundout left Rufo stranded at third.

Auburn struck for four runs on just two hits in the sixth inning. An error led to three unearned runs in the frame.

The Bearcats scored their final run in the seventh. Sophomore outfielder Darian Herncane hit a one-out triple to left center and senior center fielder Zach Blanden plated him with an RBI single to right. A double play ended the inning, but BU was within two, 4-2. But the Tigers tallied three runs in the seventh and six more in the eighth to put the game away.

The first five hitters in BU's lineup had one hit apiece.

In the three-game series, BU's starting pitchers held down a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings (Ostner, Bunal, Hardy). At the plate, senior right fielder Jake Thomas hit .462 (6-for-13) with a home run and five RBI. Thomas had an .846 slugging percentage and scored three runs. Junior third baseman David Schanz hit .364 (4-for-11) with three runs scored.

Binghamton begins a three-game set at William & Mary on Friday in Williamsburg, Va.

(Courtesy: Binghamton Athletics)