Bearcats split first series on new field

By wbng sports

April 13, 2013 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 2:27 AM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Junior first baseman Brian Ruby drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning and classmate Jack Rogalla pitched a complete-game four-hitter to push Binghamton (15-12, 6-7 America East) past visiting Albany (13-14-1, 8-6 AE) 4-3 in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Great Danes won the extra-inning opener, 5-3 in nine innings.

Rogalla didn’t allow an earned run in his 7.0 innings and BU rallied from a 3-2 hole with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, junior shortstop John Howell and sophomore left fielder Jake Thomas drew back-to-back walks. Junior second baseman Daniel Nevares followed with an RBI double to deep center field, scoring Howell with the tying run. Ruby then hit a fly ball to center that brought home Thomas with the go-ahead run.

Rogalla (W, 3-2, 2.47 ERA) worked around a leadoff double in the sixth inning to keep the margin. After Albany moved the potential tying run to third on a fly out, Rogalla got a comeback grounder and then another groundout to strand the runner at third. He then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close out the win.

The Bearcats took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Junior right fielder Shaun McGraw delivered an RBI double to the wall in left center and three batters later, sophomore center fielder Zach Blanden stroked an RBI single to center, giving BU a 2-0 lead.

The Great Danes scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth on a double, error and two putouts that brought home runners. Albany made it 3-0 with another unearned run in the fifth inning.

But Rogalla held steady until BU’s bats made the most of their five hits.

McGraw went 2-for-3 with an RBI - the lone Bearcat with more than one hit.

In the opener, BU stranded 11 runners in the first six innings and then surrendered the two tiebreaking runs to Albany in the ninth despite not allowing a hit.

The Great Danes took advantage of three walks and a hit batter to push across the go-ahead run and then picked up an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.

Binghamton managed just four hits in the nine innings but had plenty of opportunities. The last one was in the ninth when Nevares worked a one-out walk to bring the tying run to the plate. But Ruby hit into a game-ending double play.

Nevares provided a spark with a 2-for-4, two RBI game. He drilled a two-run single to left in the third to get the Bearcats back into the game after Albany had built a 3-0 cushion. Binghamton tied it two innings later when senior DH Jordon Smucker laced a two-out RBI double to the gap in right center, plating Thomas, who had opened the inning with a walk.

Senior starter Jake Lambert (4.44 ERA) went 7.0 innings in a no-decision. He scattered seven hits and didn’t allow an earned run as the three Great Danes tallies in the second came after a fielding error. Lambert struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. Lambert also escaped the second unscathed after loading the bases with no out. Back-to-back strikeouts brought him to two out and Lambert had a 1-2 count on first baseman Greg Muller before allowing the bases-clearing double to left center.

Sophomore reliever Mike Kaufman was saddled with the loss after working 1.1 innings. Kaufman (1-3) didn’t allow a hit but walked two and hit two batters. Freshman Jake Cryts got the final two outs.

The teams will conclude their three-game set with a single nine-inning game Sunday at 1 p.m.

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