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Walk off boys strike again; Bearcats with third walk off in eight days

VESTAL, N.Y. - Senior right fielder Jake Thomas ripped a two-run double to the wall with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Binghamton a 6-5 comeback win over visiting Siena Tuesday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The walk-off win was BU's third in the last eight days.

Thomas' hit capped a ninth-inning uprising that saw the Bearcats record as many hits (3) as they had through the first eight frames. With one out, freshman left fielder CJ Krowiak beat out a bunt single. Senior center fielder Zach Blanden then singled to center field. Junior third baseman David Schanz reached after hitting a sharp grounder to deep short. Siena tried for the force at second but Blanden beat the throw to the base. With the bases loaded, Thomas took a 3-1 pitch deep to right center and as it bounced at the base of the wall, Krowiak and Blanden scored with the decisive runs.

Five BU pitchers combined to limit the Saints to seven hits, though two home runs provided Siena with all five of its runs. Sophomore reliever Nicholas Liegi tossed 2.1 scoreless middle innings and freshman Jake Erhard (W, 3-0) recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning to get credit for his third win of the season. Earlier in the game, junior Vincent Caputo worked a scoreless inning.

The game featured four lead changes. Binghamton jumped ahead 1-0 with a run in the first inning before the Saints belted a three-run home run in the top of the second inning to go up 3-1. The Bearcats got one run back in the bottom of the second when freshman catcher Jason Agresti sent a 1-0 pitch into the BU bullpen in left field for his first collegiate home run.

The Bearcats tied it in the bottom of the fourth, replicating their run in the first with a leadoff walk and multiple wild pitches. But Siena recaptured the lead in the top of the sixth. After two outs, the Saints worked a walk and then turned a 3-2 pitch into a two-run home run. Binghamton trimmed its deficit to one, 5-4, in the seventh when three straight walks paved the way for a Thomas sacrifice fly to center.

Thomas went 2-for-4 with three RBI. His game-winning hit was No. 199 in his standout career, moving him to within one of reaching the 200-hit milestone. Krowiak and Blanden each had a hit and two runs scored.

Binghamton now readies for a crucial three-game series at Maine Friday and Saturday. The Bearcats sit two games out of a playoff spot with six remaining and the Black Bears are one of the teams BU likely needs to catch to advance to the program's ninth straight America East tournament.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)