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BU falls in season opening twinbill at Houston Baptist

HOUSTON, Texas - Binghamton baseball opened its 2016 season at reigning Southland Conference champion Houston Baptist and dropped a doubleheader 8-5 and 11-4 Friday afternoon at Husky Field. The Bearcats collected 25 hits in the two games but came up short in both contests.

In the opener, the Bearcats trailed 7-0 before plating two runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh to tighten the game. Binghamton brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh and then loaded the bases in the eighth but could draw no closer.

Sophomore center fielder CJ Krowiak went 3-for-5, junior first baseman Brendan Skidmore was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI and junior catcher Eddie Posavec went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

The Bearcats left 12 runners stranded and fanned 14 times against HBU pitchers, including 11 times against lefty starter Matthew McCollough.

In the fifth, BU strung together five straight hits and scored a pair. Sophomore shortstop Paul Rufo started the rally with a one-out double. Senior third baseman David Schanz brought him home with an RBI single. Three batters later, sophomore right fielder Chris McGee delivered an RBI single. The Bearcats loaded the bases but back-to-back strikeouts ended the rally.

Down 8-2, BU struck for three runs on five hits in the seventh. Skidmore hit a two-out, two-run double and Posavec followed with an RBI single. But with two runners on and the tying run at the plate, an infield pop-up allowed HBU to keep its 8-5 margin. The Bearcats went down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end it.

Senior starter Mike Bunal (L, 0-1) went 3.1 innings and gave up five earned runs. Sophomore Nick Wegmann pitched 3.2 innings and didn't allow an earned run. Wegmann struck out two and only gave up two hits. Freshman Cameron Ringo pitched the final scoreless inning, fanning two.

In game 2, BU led 2-0 before the Huskies exploded for nine runs in the middle three frames. The game was tied at 3 when HBU broke it open with six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning - thanks to four hits and three walks. All six runs scored with two out. The hosts tacked on two more runs in the seventh.

Binghamton got single runs in the first, fourth, sixth and eighth frames.

Krowiak went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Gamache was 2-for-5 with an RBI, Schanz drove in two and sophomore DH Pat Britt went 2-for-4 with a run.

Senior starter Rob Hardy (L, 0-1) went 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out three. A pair of relievers surrendered the remaining eight runs.

The teams will finish up the four-game series with a doubleheader Saturday beginning at noon.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)