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Binghamton Baseball splits the doubleheader with Albany on Saturday

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VESTAL, N.Y.- The Binghamton baseball team won the second game of its America East doubleheader Saturday, earning a split with Albany. BU won, 7-4, after the Great Danes won the opener, 11-9, at the Bearcats Sports Complex.

The Bearcats move to 12-14-1 overall and 6-7 in the conference, while Albany is 10-14 overall and 4-3 in the America East. The teams wrap up their three-game series on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. at BU.

In the nightcap, Mike Bunal put together a terrific start to lead Binghamton to a split. The junior righthander went seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He held the visitors to one run in his first six innings of work.

Brendan Skidmore singled with one out in the bottom of the second, beginning a BU rally. An Eddie Posavec sacrifice moved Skidmore to second and then Jason Agresti drive him in with a base hit. Albany evened the score with a run in the fifth, but the Bearcats had an answer in the bottom half of the frame. Freshman Paul Rufo doubled to start the action. Zach Blanden and David Schanz both reached via Albany errors, allowing a pair of runs to score. Later in the rally, Reed Gahache walked and Skidmore singled, plating Schanz for a 4-1 margin.

Bunal kept the Great Danes at bay with a 1-2-3 sixth. BU followed with another three-run effort in the bottom of the inning. Agresti and Rufo singled and then Blanden doubled to left centerfield, scoring Agresti. Schanz hit a fly ball to left, bringing in Rufo for a 6-1 lead. Jake Thomas put an exclamation point on the frame, tripling to deep right center, driving in Blanden to put Binghamton ahead by six. Bunal then closed out the contest, throwing his first complete game of the season.

Skidmore, Agresti, and Rufo recorded two hits apiece. Blanden put up a hit, a walk, run and an RBI at the top of the order. Bunal finished with a line of seven innings, allowing four runs on eight hits to go with six strikeouts in his third win of the year.

BU started off the first game in stellar fashion, taking an 8-0 lead on the strength of timely hitting and a solid outing from starter Greg Ostner. The Bearcats scored three runs in the fourth inning and tacked on five more in the fifth, while Ostner worked five scoreless to open the contest. In the bottom of the fourth, Jake Thomas led off with a single. Reed Gamache was hit by a pitch, and after an out, Brendan Skidmore doubled to left centerfield, scoring both baserunners. Jason Agresti's RBI groundout made it 3-0 later in the frame.

Binghamton continued its momentum in the bottom of the fifth. Zach Blanden singled and David Schanz bunted him over to second base. A Gamache base hit brought in Blanden with two outs. Skidmore followed with a double to left center and then Eddie Posavec's flyball to left centerfield found grass, driving in two more runs. Agresti singled to plate Posavec and Kyle Coronel stroked a double to left, giving the Bearcats an 8-0 lead.

Ostner retired the first six batters he faced and then allowed just one hit in each of the next two innings, striking out three hitters. Albany got to Ostner with a pair of hits in the fifth and struck with two runs in the sixth inning. The Great Danes followed with a run in the seventh and five more in the eighth, tying the game. The visitors scored three times in the top of the tenth, taking an 11-8 advantage.

In the bottom of the tenth frame, Binghamton looked to extend the contest. Blanden was hit by a pitch to start the rally. After a fielder's choice, Thomas lined a single to centerfield. Gamache drove in a run with a base hit to center, putting two Bearcats on with one out. However, Albany's Joey Moore came up with a line out to first base and a strikeout to end the game.

Gamache, Skidmore, and Posavec each went 3-5 with a pair of RBIs. Thomas also posted three hits, while Coronel added two. BU finished the game with 16 hits.

(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)