Bearcats comeback falls short against St. Bonaventure

By wbng sports

April 17, 2013 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 3:27 AM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Visiting St. Bonaventure (11-17) snapped a 2-2 tie with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and then added an insurance run in the ninth for a 4-2 win over Binghamton in a non-conference baseball game Wednesday afternoon from the Bearcats Sports Complex. Binghamton (17-13) left 13 runners stranded, including the bases loaded in each of the last two innings.

The Bearcats never led but twice rallied to tie the game. St. Bonaventure scored single runs in the third, fifth, eighth and ninth innings and BU countered with one run in each of the fourth and fifth frames. Three of the game’s six runs were scored on either a passed ball or wild pitch as both catchers were kept busy with six balls that got to the backstop and 13 combined walks.

St. Bonaventure put its lead-off hitter on in the eighth (walk) and he came around to score on a sacrifice bunt, groundout and wild pitch.

Binghamton had a great chance to even the score in the bottom of the inning when junior second baseman Daniel Nevares led off with a double off the wall in left center. Junior first baseman Brian Ruby hit a sharp single off the third baseman’s glove to put two runners on and they were moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by freshman third baseman Reed Gamache. A one-out intentional walk loaded the bases but a shallow pop-up to left field and an infield pop-up dissolved the opportunity and left three more stranded.

The Bonnies added a fourth run in the ninth on two singles and a walk.

The Bearcats had another golden opportunity to tie the score or win it in their final at-bat as they sent six men to the plate and had the tying run on second. Sophomore outfielder Zach Blanden led off and reached on a fielding error by the Bonnies’ third baseman. After a sharp lineout to right, sophomore outfielder Jake Thomas muscled a single to shallow right field, putting runners on first and second with one out. But a pop-up to center allowed for no advancement and after Ruby coaxed a walk to load the bases with two out, Gamache hit a comebacker to the pitcher to end the game.

Thomas provided an historical note in the fourth inning when he led off with a solo home run - the first round-tripper hit at the new complex. Thomas belted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right field to tie the score at 1-1. It was his third homer of the season and team-high 26th RBI. Nevares followed with a hard single to left and he moved to second on a passed ball before getting stranded.

Down 2-1, BU tied it in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out wild pitch. Junior catcher Scott Musin was hit by a pitch to open the inning. After two walks, an infield pop-up and a bases loaded strikeout, Musin raced home from third on a pitch that eluded the Bonnies catcher and just slid under the tag at the plate.

Thomas, who leads the entire nation in on-base percentage, went 2-for-5 and his on-base percentage now rests at .538. Nevares went 2-for-4.

Sophomore starter Jed Lemen allowed just two hits and no earned runs in 3.0 innings, before giving way to freshman Tsuyoshi Horibata, who went 3.1 innings in his official collegiate debut. Horibata scattered three hits and a run in his outing. Senior Joe Swindells (2.2 IP) absorbed the loss.

Binghamton now braces for a three-game conference series against UMBC this weekend. The teams will play a twinbill Saturday beginning at noon.

(Courtesy: BU Athletics)