Harrisonburg, VA (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton baseball (2-2) broke open a close game with eight runs in the seventh inning and cruised to a 12-2 win over host James Madison (2-3) in the opening game of a four-game set Friday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park. Eight of BU’s 12 hits went for extra bases.
Ahead 4-2, the Bearcats sent 12 men to the plate in the decisive seventh inning. Junior left fielder Jake Thomas (2-run HR) and senior second baseman Daniel Nevares highlighted the frame with back-to-back homers and junior right fielder Zach Blanden added a three-run double. Thomas and Nevares each hit his first long ball of the young season.
Junior Jack Rogalla (W, 1-1) earned the win with 6.0 strong innings. Rogalla scattered five hits and two runs, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Junior Mike Kaufman and freshman Jextin Pugh covered the final three scoreless innings. Kaufman struck out all three hitters he faced and Pugh struck out three and gave up just one hit in his two innings.
Binghamton scored twice in the opening frame to grab a quick lead. With one out, senior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz walked and stole second. Thomas then delivered an RBI triple to left field. Nevares then drove in Thomas with an infield grounder.
The host Dukes cut their deficit in half with a run in the second but BU struck for runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third, Bereszniewicz laced an RBI double to plate Blanden, who had opened the frame with a single and swiped second. One inning later, sophomore third baseman Reed Gamache put an RBI single through the left side to score senior shortstop John Howell, who had walked with one out and moved to second on a single by junior catcher Nick Pancerella.
James Madison got one run back in the sixth, thanks to a 1-out triple and groundout. But BU responded a half-inning later with the eight spot.
Bereszniewicz went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and two RBI. Thomas went 2-for-5 with the two-run blast, a triple and three RBI. Blanden was 2-for-6 with a double and three RBI. Gamache went 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The teams will play a twinbill on Saturday with a seven-inning game followed by a nine-inning game. First pitch is set for noon. Junior Mike Urbanski and sophomore Jake Cryts are slated to start for the Bearcats.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)