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Bearcats call it Splits with UMBC Retrievers Double-Header

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Binghamton baseball split a twinbill with UMBC on Sunday at the Bearcats Baseball Complex, winning the opener 3-2 on a walkoff before losing the nightcap 8-4. The Bearcats (17-29-1, 9-15 America East) concluded their conference schedule and now must hope for a UMBC (21-25, 11-10 AE) three-game sweep of Albany next weekend to slide into a top-six playoff position.

Binghamton saw the full range of emotion within a half-hour on the clock mid-afternoon. Senior designated hitter Jason Agresti won the opener on a bases-loaded chopper up the third base line and BU celebrated with its walk-off win. With renewed hope for a doubleheader sweep and strengthened postseason position, BU had a 25-minute break between games. But UMBC opened up Game 2 by scoring six runs on six hits and chasing two Bearcat pitchers in the first inning. From there, the Retrievers held steady and pinned a devastating loss on Binghamton, which now has to scoreboard watch Friday and Saturday and hope UMBC can sweep a league foe for the second time this season when the Retrievers host Albany (8-13). The Great Danes hold the tiebreak over BU by virtue of winning two of three head-to-head last month. 

In the opener, senior Nick Wegmann pitched 7.0 innings and allowed one earned run with five strikeouts. Sophomore Ben Anderson (W, 3-2) went the final 2.0 innings and didn't allow a hit with three strikeouts. Anderson reduced his season ERA to 1.60.

The teams traded runs in the first three innings before both scored in the sixth. Tied 2-2, freshman pinch hitter Sam Freedman led off the ninth with a double into left center. Sophomore third baseman Justin Drpich was hit by pitch and junior outfielder Anthony Meduri reached on an infield single to load the bases with no out. But successive force outs at the plate threatened to squash the rally before Agresti cashed in on the shortest RBI hit of his stellar career - a dribbler up the base line that the Retrievers' third baseman bare-handed and threw to first but it was late and wide, allowing Meduri to score the winning run.

Down 2-1 in the sixth, sophomore catcher TJ Wegmann belted a two-out, 1-2 pitch over the wall in right field for his first career home run. That blast tied the game at 2-2 and set the stage for BU's decisive ninth inning. 

Agresti went 2-for-5 with two RBI, Meduri had two hits and two runs and TJ Wegmann had two hits.

But the air was quickly taken out of the stadium in Game 2 when UMBC struck for six runs out of the gate. Binghamton doubled up the visitors over the final eight innings but couldn't string together enough hits to rally. 

The Bearcats got single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and then plated two runs in the ninth and had two on when a strikeout ended it. Binghamton stranded eight runners in the game and 19 on the day.

Agresti had three of BU's four RBIs in the game and took over the team lead with 29 RBI for the season.

Of BU's five pitchers, senior Jake Erhard had the most success. Erhard pitched 2.0 hitless frames with three strikeouts.

Binghamton hosts Iona at 3 p.m. on Thursday before finishing the regular season with a doubleheader at Central Connecticut State on Friday.

Courtesy: BU Athletics Department