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Bearcats with almost identical walk-off wins over Bonnies

VESTAL, N.Y. - Binghamton baseball (16-16-1) came through with two dramatic walk-off, extra-inning victories to produce a doubleheader sweep of visiting St. Bonaventure (14-20-2) Tuesday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. Binghamton won the opener 4-3 in nine innings and also took the nightcap 4-3 - this time in eight innings. Both games were scheduled for seven innings.

It marked the first time in BU's 58-year history that it recorded back-to-back extra-inning walk-off wins.

In the opener, BU forced extra innings when freshman catcher Jason Agresti hit an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh. In the ninth, freshman left fielder Chris McGee drew a two-out walk, stole second and after a walk to senior center fielder Zach Blanden, junior David Schanz ripped an RBI single to win it. Schanz sent a 2-2 pitch over the left fielder's head to score McGee and end the contest.

Binghamton scored single runs in the first, fourth, seventh and ninth innings and St. Bonaventure got single runs in the first, second and seventh to account for the scoring. The Bonnies left 10 men on base as BU's five-man pitching corps limited damage throughout the game.

Junior second baseman Reed Gamache belted a solo home run in the fourth inning and drove in another run with a two-out RBI single in the first. He went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Schanz wound up 2-for-5 with the game-winner. Freshman reliever Dylan Stock (W, 1-0) tossed a scoreless ninth to record his first collegiate win. Sophomore Nicholas Liegi and senior Anthony Grillini each pitched two scoreless middle innings - each allowing one hit with one strikeout.

With darkness quickly approaching in Game 2, Pancerella made sure BU didn't have to settle for a tie. Freshman shortstop Paul Rufo reached base on a throwing error and advanced to second to lead off the bottom of the ninth. He took third on a passed ball and trotted home when Pancerella ripped a 1-0 pitch inside the bag at third base for the game-winner. The Bonnies had positioned five players around the infield to try and cut off the run but none had a chance on Pancerella's hit, which was mashed down the left field line.

The Bearcats scored single runs in each of their last four at-bats to rally from a 3-0 hole. Down to their final at-bat in the seventh, BU forced extras without the benefit of a hit. Senior DH Jake Thomas drew a walk and sophomore Darian Herncane entered as a pinch runner. Herncane took second on a groundout and tagged to reach third on a fly ball from sophomore shortstop Brendan Skidmore. With sophomore right fielder Eddie Posavec at the plate, the Bonnies' freshman starter uncorked a wild pitch on his 118th pitch of the game, allowing Herncane to score the tying run.

In the eighth inning, freshman Jake Erhard (W, 2-0) stranded the go-ahead run at third with a groundout, setting the stage for BU's repeat walk-off.

Freshman left fielder CJ Krowiak went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Pancerella went 2-for-4 with the game-winner. Erhard was the last of four BU pitchers who worked the game.

Binghamton returns to conference play this weekend with a big three-game set against UMBC. The teams begin with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)