Late-inning struggles doom Bearcats against Cornell

By wbng sports

April 9, 2014 Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 11:39 PM EST

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Visiting Cornell (14-11) snapped a 1-1 tie with a run in the eighth inning and the Big Red tacked on four more in the ninth for a 6-1 win over Binghamton baseball (9-15) Wednesday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex.

Five BU pitchers limited Cornell to one run on two hits through seven innings before the wheels came off in the final two frames. With both pitching staffs being protected for upcoming conference play, the game featured 14 pitchers and took more than three hours to conclude. Junior first baseman Brian Ruby made his collegiate debut on the hill as Binghamton’s seventh and final pitcher.

The Bearcats stranded 10 runners, including eight through the first six innings. Binghamton left the bases loaded in the fifth inning when a comebacker and infield pop-up spoiled a scoring opportunity with one out. They then left two on in both the sixth and seventh innings.

Down 1-0, Binghamton pushed across the tying run in the sixth inning on an RBI single by senior left fielder Shaun McGraw. The Bearcats had a golden chance to take the lead in the seventh after putting runners on second and third with just one out. But back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.

In the eighth, McGraw made a nice sliding catch in left field to deny a hit and a groundout to first gave BU two quick outs. But Cornell worked a walk and two subsequent singles through the right side to score the go-ahead run.

The wheels then came off in the ninth as the Big Red used three hits, two walks, a balk and hit batter to break the game open with four runs.

Cornell had taken a 1-0 lead with a run in the third inning.

The game also included three balks and two pitching errors on errant pick-off attempts.

Senior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz and sophomore third baseman David Schanz each went 2-for-5 to pace BU’s six-hit attack. McGraw made two nice plays in left field and was robbed of another hit by a nice diving stop and throw from the Cornell third baseman.

Freshman pitcher Jextin Pugh looked sharp in his two-inning stint to start the game. Pugh fanned three and allowed just one single. Juniors Greg Ostner and Anthony Grillini each pitched two hitless innings. Ostner entered in the third inning with the bases loaded and no outs and limited the Big Red to one run with a fly ball and infield pop-up.

Binghamton next heads to Long Island for a big three-game America East series against conference-leading Stony Brook. The series begins with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday. The Bearcats have won four of their last five league games to move into fourth place in the standings.

(Courtesy: Binghamton University Athletics)

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.