Gilchrist and Coluccio Power Baseball Past Binghamton, 7-4
Junior Brandon Coluccio
BALTIMORE – UMBC senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) and junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) laced back-to-back RBI singles through the right-side in the bottom of the seventh inning, breaking 4-4 tie, and pushing UMBC past Binghamton, 7-4, in the America East opener, Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The win is the first for UMBC (3-5, 1-0 AE) over the Bearcats since 2008 and snaps a 21-game losing streak in the series.
Coluccio finished the day going 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Freshman Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) picked up his first career multi-hit game with a 2-for-4 effort at the dish.
Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) came out of the bullpen and threw 1.2 innings to earn his first career win. Ladner (1-0) entered in the top of the seventh to relieve junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) who pitched six innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.. Freshman Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) recorded the final out of the eighth, and then sent the Bearcats down in order in the ninth to pick up his third save of the year.
Reliever Kyle Kaufman (0-2) took the loss for Binghamton (8-5, 0-1 AE) after surrendering all three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Lambert took a no-decision after leaving in the sixth having yielded four runs, three earned, on six hits.
Both starters were in control early, sending the opposing lineup down in order in the first inning. Binghamton got to Gill first, however, striking for a single run in the top of the second on a John Howell single. That is all they would get though as the Retriever righty got Zach Blanden to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
The Retrievers responded immediately for their starter, grabbing two runs in the bottom half to take the lead 2-1. Gilchrist opened the inning by reaching on a fielding error and moved to second on a sac bunt from Coluccio. Colon followed with his first career triple to knot the score at two. Sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) gave UMBC the lead by grounding out to third, but driving in Colon.
The did not last long as the Bearcats drew level and then retook the lead in the top of the third following a single, walk, RBI-ouble, and sacrifice fly. The lead grew to 4-2 in the top of the fourth when Blanden doubled to deep center to drive in Howell.
In the bottom of the fourth, UMBC cut the lead in half on an RBI single by redshirt freshman Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional). Coluccio started the rally with a one-out double to right and moved to third two batters later as Barnes singled to left. Espositio then stepped up and shot a seeing-eye single through the left side.
After both teams went quietly in the fifth, Binghamton threatened to take the lead once again in the top of the sixth. With two outs, the Bearcats received back-to-back singles before Jake Thomas walked to load the bases. Gill composed himself, however, and induced another fielder’s choice to get out of the jam.
The Retrievers once again backed up their starter, tying the score in the bottom half of the frame as Colon doubled to right to bring in Coluccio who has previously doubled to left-center.
Ladner entered in the top of the seventh and sent the Bearcats down in order and UMBC took advantage of the opportunity. Junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) led off with a bunt single down the first-base line, and moved to second on a sac bunt by freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville). Sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) followed with a one-out walk, but was lifted for a pinch runner, with junior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill) taking his spot on first. With a 3-2 count, Gilchrist lined a single just past the outstretched glove of the second baseman, driving in McCabe with the eventual game-winning run. Coluccio then followed suit with a base-knock to bring around Smith and Gilchrist, who had reached second on a passed ball.
In the eighth, Binghamton looked to cut into the lead, gaining a man on first and second on a single and a walk to start the inning. Ladner, however, forced Blanden to pop up to the third baseman Esposito, who after running to the pitcher’s mound, flipped back to Ladner, who then tossed to a mindful Smith, playing left field, to tag out Howell who tried to advance to third. Gomez then entered to get the final out, and then finished off the win with three straight in the ninth.
UMBC and Binghamton return to Alumni Field for a double-header tomorrow, beginning at 12:00 p.m. The second game of the day will start approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first contest.
- UMBC last defeated Binghamton on Apr. 12, 2008, 9-4, in a seven-inning contest.
- With the win, the Retrievers cut the Bearcats’ lead in the all-time series to 34-7.
- This is UMBC’s first win in a conference opener since 2010 (6-4 win at Hartford).
- This is the third-straight season that UMBC has opened America East play at home.
- The Retrievers improve to 2-0 at home this season. Last year, UMBC went 4-18 at Alumni Field.
- UMBC is now 3-7 in America East openers since joining the conference for the 2004 season.
- Gilchrist went 1-for-4 at the plate and reached on an error and has now reached base in all eight games this year, and nine straight, dating to last season.
- Retriever pitchers recorded three strikeouts to extend their streak to 74 straight games with at least one K. They have struck out multiple hitters in seven of eight games this year.
- Gomez’s third save of the year is the most for one Retriever pitcher in a single season since Ryan Morse converted four in 2008.