Vestal (WBNG BINGHAMTON) Junior right fielder Zach Blanden produced a career-high six RBI and Binghamton gained a twinbill split with a 13-3 win over Hartford Saturday afternoon at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The visiting Hawks won the opener 9-1.
The teams will play the rubber game of the three-game set at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
After tallying just one run in the opener, BU scored five runs in the second inning of Game 2, erasing a 1-0 Hartford lead. After the Hawks got one run back in the third frame, BU scored four runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth to finish the scoring in the seven-inning contest.
The Bearcats sent nine men to the plate in the second and used four hits to plate five. After RBIs from sophomore first baseman Reed Gamache and sophomore third baseman David Schanz gave BU a 2-1 lead, Blanden stroked a two-out, 3-2 pitch into center field for a two-run single. Senior center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz followed with RBI single up the middle.
Junior Greg Ostner (W, 2-1) relieved freshman starter Jextin Pugh with two on and two out in the top of the fourth and got a big strikeout to keep BU’s 5-2 margin.
In the bottom of the fourth, BU loaded the bases on singles by Schanz and freshman catcher Eddie Posavec with a walk to senior shortstop John Howell wedged in-between. Blanden then ripped the first pitch he saw over the center fielder’s head and to the wall, clearing the bases for a three-run triple.
One inning later, the Bearcats sent nine men to the plate and used six hits to tack on four more runs. Howell, Posavec, Blanden and senior second baseman Daniel Nevares had RBI hits in the frame.
Ostner went 3.1 innings and allowed just one run on four hits. Pugh gave up just one earned run in his 3.2 innings of work - the longest stint of his young collegiate career.
Blanden went 3-for-6 with the six RBI. He became the second Bearcat to tally six RBI this season (Jake Thomas had 6 vs. Maine on April 20). Posavec went 3-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Howell was 2-for-2 with an RBI and three runs scored. Gamache went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Thomas added his team-high 29th RBI of the season. All nine BU starters recorded a hit and eight had RBIs.
In Game 1, Hartford ace Sean Newcomb shut down the Bearcats on three hits over 6.0 innings - in front of nearly two-dozen MLB scouts. The Hawks snapped a scoreless tie on a two-run home run in the fourth inning and then they added three in the fifth, one in the sixth and three more in the seventh.
Junior starter Jack Rogalla struck out six in 5.2 innings, but allowed five earned runs. Binghamton’s third pitcher, sophomore Tsuyoshi Horibata, went the final 2.1 innings and allowed just one hit with two strikeouts.
Schanz went 2-for-4 for the Bearcats, who were outhit 16-8.
Sophomore Jake Cryts (3-4, 3.91 ERA) will oppose sophomore Kyle Gauthier (3-0, 2.45 ERA) on Sunday.
Binghamton leads the all-time series 37-11 and has won 20 of the last 24 meetings.
(Courtesy: Binghamton University)