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Zach Blanden and the Bearcats scored six runs in the first three innings against James Madison on Feb. 23. Binghamton held on for a 9-7 victory.
Photo by Jonathan Cohen
Bearcats beat James Madison to split series
February 24, 2014Tweet
Binghamton baseball (3-4) plated nine runs on 10 hits and gained a series split with host James Madison (4-4) with a 9-7 victory on Feb. 23 at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, Va.
The Bearcats scored six runs in the first three innings and built a 9-5 lead before sweating out the ninth inning when JMU scored twice and brought the tying run to the plate.
Sophomore third baseman David Schanz went 2-for-2 with three RBI and freshman pitcher Casey Wenzel offered three scoreless middle innings in his collegiate debut.
For the third time in the four-game series, Binghamton put runs on the board in the very first frame. The Bearcats got three hits and plated two runs. Junior Zach Blanden and senior Bill Bereszniewicz led off with back-to-back singles and and senior second baseman Daniel Nevares scored Blanden with an RBI groundout. Then after a single by junior left fielder Jake Thomas, Bereszniewicz scored when the catcher misfired trying to nab Thomas on a steal attempt.
The Dukes got one run back in the bottom of the second on a walk, two stolen bases and an RBI infield single.
But Binghamton erupted for four runs in the top of the fourth. Junior first baseman Brian Ruby and sophomore DH Reed Gamache opened with singles and senior shortstop John Howell reached on an error to load the bases. Freshman catcher Eddie Posavec then earned an RBI with a hit-by-pitch and Schanz followed with a two-run single to center field. Bereszniewicz added an RBI groundout to give Binghamton a 6-1 cushion.
James Madison got three back in their half of the frame, however, taking advantage of two hit batters, two walks and a run-scoring balk. The hosts made it a 6-5 game when they used two more walks to plate another run in the fourth. But the Bearcats restored some breathing room in the sixth with a Thomas sacrifice fly and then Binghamton made it 9-5 with a pair in the seventh. Schanz picked up an RBI on a squeeze bunt with runners on second and third and a throwing error on the play scored another runner.
In the ninth, JMU used a two-out, two-run triple to tighten the score and bring the tying run to the plate. Sophomore reliever Mike Bunal struck out the final hitter - his third whiff of the inning - to end the threat and the game.
Blanden had two hits to pace the 10-hit attack. JMU was tagged with four errors.
Junior Mike Meleski started and went two innings. Junior Mike Kaufman tossed three innings before giving way to Wenzel, who allowed just one hit in his three perfect frames.
Binghamton begins a three-game set at SEC member Georgia with a single game on Feb. 28 in Athens.