Baseball Splits First Two With Binghamton

Photo: Josh Nethaway went 4-for-6 on the afternoon Saturday.

GAME ONE BOX  I  GAME TWO BOX  I  SEASON STATS

VESTAL, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team captured a 5-3 extra-inning victory in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader with Binghamton University, before being edged, 4-3, in the nightcap. UAlbany is now 13-14-1 on the season and 8-6 in conference play. The Great Danes will look to capture the America East Conference series in Sunday’s rubbermatch at 1:00 p.m.

With the score tied, 3-3, in the scheduled seven-inning game, the Great Danes rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth after a hit batter and three consecutive walks loaded the bases and scored the go-ahead run. With one out, senior Greg Muller plated Brian Bullard from third on his sacrifice fly to left field for a 5-3 advantage. In the bottom half of the inning, closer Ryan Stinar earned the save, facing the minimum.

Redshirt senior Derek Zielinski tossed five innings, allowing three hits, three runs, six walks, while striking out three. Out of the bullpen, sophomore southpaw Andrew Jaurique (1-0) earned the win, throwing three scoreless frames, allowing just one hit, two walks, while striking out one.

UAlbany scored first in the series opener, as Muller belted a two-out double with the bases loaded in the top of the second, plating three runs.

The Bearcats answered in the bottom of the third when Daniel Nevares brought home two on a single to left. Binghamton tied the ballgame in the fifth, as Jake Thomas drew a leadoff walk and crossed the plate on Jordon Smucker’s two-out double to right-centerfield.

In the sixth, Binghamton threatened to take the lead, loading the bases after a walk, hit batsman, and a single, but Jaurique forced a side-ending groundout, escaping the jam.

Starter Mike Lambert threw seven innings for Binghamton without a decision. Mike Kaufman (1-3) took the loss, hurling one and a third frames, allowing two runs.

Offensively, Muller (1-for-4) led UAlbany with four runs batted in, while Nolan Gaige (1-for-4) logged the game-winning RBI with his ninth-inning walk. Junior Josh Nethaway (2-for-3) recorded a team-best two hits in the victory.

Since game one went nine frames, the nightcap became a seven-inning affair. Binghamton struck first in the bottom of the second, as Shaun McGraw lined a run-scoring double with one out, and Zach Blanden brought home McGraw with a single to center.

However, the Great Danes responded with two runs of their own in the fourth. Gordon Madej reached on an error and moved to third on Nethaway’s first of two doubles in the game. D.J. Hoagboon’s grounder to first and Bullard’s sac fly to center plated both runners, tying the ballgame.

UAlbany grabbed the lead, 3-2, in the fifth with Joey Tracy’s unearned run. Tracy reached on a hit by pitch, advanced on Gaige’s single through the right side and scored on a muffed fielder’s choice play.

In the bottom of the inning, Binghamton took the lead for good, plating two. With one out, the Bearcats drew consecutive walks before Nevares lined an RBI double to center and Brian Ruby knocked home the winning-run on a sac fly, also to centerfield.

Nethaway looked to spark a rally for the Danes in the sixth, lining his 10th double of the season. However, the tying run was left stranded at third when Binghamton pitcher Jack Rogalla sat the next three batters down in order. Rogalla also tossed a perfect seventh to earn the complete-game win.

For UAlbany, Kasceim Graham (4-4) took the loss, allowing four runs and five hits, while striking out three in five innings of work. Stephen Carey came out of the pen to throw one hitless inning with a strikeout.

Nethaway (2-for-3) led the Danes’ bats with two hits, totaling four on the day, while also scoring a run.

UAlbany and Binghamton will close the conference series Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at the Bearcats Sports Complex.