Baseball Splits With Binghamton In Pair Of One-Run Affairs

Photo: D.J. Hoagboon went 2-for-3 and drove in the game-winning run in the nightcap.

GAME ONE BOX  I  GAME TWO BOX  I  SEASON STATS

ALBANY, N.Y. – In a tight race to finish second in the America East Conference regular season standings, the University at Albany baseball team split Friday’s doubleheader with Binghamton, still leaving next week’s Tournament seeds up in the air. Binghamton stole game one, 3-2, in nine innings, while the Great Danes rallied to take the nightcap, 5-4, in seven.

In game one, UAlbany jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of unearned runs. Senior Nolan Gaige led off with a single and classmate Greg Muller logged his 16th hit by pitch of the season. Binghamton starter Jake Lambert looked to end the side with a double play on junior Josh Nethaway’s grounder, but the Bearcat first baseman threw the ball into left field on the turn, allowing Gaige to score and Muller to advance to third. Junior Brian Bullard capped the opening frame with an RBI groundout to first, plating Muller.

Great Dane starter senior Austin Chase held Binghamton off the board until the top of the fifth when the Bearcats strung together three consecutive singles, scoring one.

In the top of the sixth, Binghamton tied it, 2-2, on Bill Bereszniewicz’s two-out RBI single to left, scoring Brian Ruby from second.

The Bearcats looked to take the lead in the seventh, as David Schanz led off with a single and stole second, but UAlbany reliever Cameron Sorgie recorded three straight outs, sending the Great Danes to the plate with a chance to walk off with a win.

With one out, Gaige lined a single up the middle and moved into scoring position on a groundout. However, Binghamton reliever Greg Ostner left Gaige stranded, forcing a fly out and sending the game into extra innings.  

After Ostner again spoiled UAlbany’s eighth-inning threat with a side-ending double play, the Bearcats plated the winning-run in the top of the ninth on a bases-loaded wild pitch. Bereszniewicz led off with a single through the left side and a walk prompted a call to the bullpen, replacing Sorgie with Andrew Jaurique. A sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk filled the bases, and a ball to the backstop allowed the Bereszniewicz, the winning run, to cross home plate with two outs.

In the bottom of the ninth and two outs, Gaige lined his third single of the game, but was again left stranded as Ostner forced the final groundout.

Ostner (2-1) earned the win, throwing the final five frames, allowing no runs and five hits.

Sorgie (2-5) took the loss, tossing three innings, allowing two runs and four hits, while striking out two. Chase earned no-decision, throwing the opening five frames, allowing one run and six hits, while striking out five.

Gaige went 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored, leading UAlbany’s eight-hit attack.

With the first game going nine full innings, the nightcap became a seven-inning affair in regard to America East rules.

Binghamton took the initial lead, 1-0, in the top of the third, combining Schanz’s triple with Ruby’s RBI single up the middle.

However, the Great Danes answered back immediately, stringing together consecutive singles by Joey Tracy, Craig Lepre, and Gaige, tying the game 1-1. With runners on first and second, Binghamton starting pitcher Jack Rogalla tried to get the lead runner at third on a grounder back to the mound, but a wild throw allowed Lepre to score and Gaige to move to third. Gaige then gave UAlbany a 3-1 lead when he crossed the plate on a wild pitch during Muller’s at-bat.

Binghamton made it a one-run game in the fourth  with a double and sacrifice fly, and regained the lead in the top of the fifth, plating two runs. With two outs, freshman starter Ryan Stinar issued a walk and Ruby lined a run-scoring double down the left field line. A grounder to third that would have ended the sided resulted in a wild throw, allowing the go-ahead run to score, 4-3.

However, UAlbany battled back in the bottom half of the inning, as Gordon Madej singled through the left side and stole second. Muller took advantage, ripping an RBI double to left field, tying the ballgame, 4-4.

In the bottom of the sixth, Bullard drew a walk from reliever Mike Urbanski and moved to second on a balk. With one out, D.J. Hoagboon knocked home what would be the winning run with a single to left field.

After yielding a leadoff single and stolen base in the top of the seventh, UAlbany closer Kevin Archbold kept the Bearcats in check with three straight outs, including a game-ending K, earning his first career save.

Senior Derek Zielinski (3-5) earned the win out of the pen, tossing 1.1 hitless innings between the fifth and sixth frames.

Urbanski (2-1) took the loss, allowing one run and two hits in one inning of work.

Offensively, the Great Danes totaled nine hits in the victory led by Hoagboon and Tracy’s 2-for-3 performances.

UAlbany and Binghamton will conclude the 2013 regular season Saturday with the series rubber match at 1:00 p.m. at Varsity Field. The Great Dane will honor the squad’s eight seniors in a pregame ceremony beginning at 12:45 p.m.