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Binghamton Baseball swept to UMBC 9-7 on Sunday

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VESTAL, N.Y. - Visiting UMBC scored runs in six of the last seven innings to hold off Binghamton 9-7 Sunday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Retrievers (25-16, 10-8 AE) built a 7-0 lead and then hung on in the final three innings as a late BU rally came oh-so-close.

It was the first time since 2011 that BU has been swept in a multi-game series at home. The two-time defending conference champion Bearcats (16-19-1, 6-11 AE) fell two games out of a playoff spot with six regular-season games remaining.

Continuing a trend from Saturday's pair of losses, BU put runners on base in all nine innings but couldn't come up with timely hits. The Bearcats left 10 runners stranded in the game, 32 total for the weekend series. When BU started ro rally in the last three innings, the Retrievers countered with single backbreaking runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. UMBC touched up six Bearcats pitchers for nine runs on 15 hits and the visitors took advantage of three BU errors to plate three unearned runs.

UMBC stretched a 2-0 lead with four runs in the fifth inning and then made it 7-0 with a lone run in the top of the seventh.

The Bearcats put five on the board in the bottom of the seventh, thanks to three walks and two hits, with the big blow a three-run home run off the bat of sophomore shortstop Brendan Skidmore. Two batters earlier, senior right fielder Jake Thomas drew a bases-loaded RBI walk and junior second baseman Reed Gamache followed with an RBI fly ball to right field. Skidmore then drilled a 1-0 pitch over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season, bringing BU to within two, 7-5.

But the Retrievers made a strong defensive play at third to end the seventh inning and then took advantage of a leadoff hit batter, stolen base and RBI double to extend their lead to 8-5 in the top of the eighth. Binghamton countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, using three hits, a walk and hit batter to put themselves on the verge of tying the game. Senior first baseman Brian Ruby delivered an RBI single and Thomas drew another bases-loaded walk to make it 8-7. But with the bases loaded and one out, BU hit into an inning-ending double play - for the third time in four innings.

UMBC again tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth, courtesy of four walks.

Down 9-7, BU brought the tying run to the plate with two out in its final at-bat before an infield pop-up ended the game.

Skidmore drove in three runs with his long ball, Thomas had two RBI and Ruby and freshman left fielder CJ Krowiak had two hits apiece.

Binghamton hosts Siena in a non-conference game at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)