Retrievers Battle, But Drop Both Games of Doubleheader at Binghamton

VESTAL, N.Y. – The UMBC baseball team battled back from three down to tie the first game in the eighth, and then rallied to cut into a six-run deficit in game two, but ultimately dropped both games of the doubleheader at Binghamton, Sunday afternoon in America East play at the Bearcat Sports Complex.

Binghamton (8-13, 4-4 AE) responded for four runs in the bottom of the eighth in the opener to win game one, 7-3, and then held off UMBC (6-18, 3-6 AE) for an 8-4 win in the second game of the twin bill to sweep the weekend series.

Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) went 2-for-5 and scored a run in game one to lead the Retriever offense and then added a hit in three at-bats in the series finale to extend his hit streak to 13 straight games.  In addition, the rookie infielder/catcher has reached base in 18 straight contests.

Classmate Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) laced a 2-RBI double in game two to drive in half of the Retrievers' runs.

Both starters dueled in game one as sophomore Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) and Jake Cryts blanked the opposition through four innings.  The Bearcats got to the Retriever southpaw first, scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth, two of which came on a double to right-center by Eddie Posavec.  Vanderplas held BU from there and finished five innings allowing the three runs on just three hits.

Cryts was replaced to start the eighth and the Retrievers responded against the Bearcat bullpen.  Sophomore Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) drew a lead-off walk and eventually came into score on an RBI ground-out off the bat of Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional).  Junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) followed with a single through the right side to plate Dolshun who had previously reached on a throwing error.  UMBC was not done, though, and pulled even as sophomore Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) shot a single up the middle and Barnes came around to score from second.

Binghamton retook the lead in the bottom half, however, scoring four times as Posavec and Bill Bereszniewicz each collected RBI singles.  Sophomore Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) was changed with two of the runs in the inning and took the loss (0-2) while Mike Bunal (1-1) recorded the last out of the eighth and then pitched the ninth for the win.

In game two, the visitors got on the board first with sophomore Jesse Smith (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) lifting a sac fly to right in the top of the third, allowing Colon, who had previously yanked a double down the right field line, to score.  BU once again pegged right back, scoring four runs against UMBC starter Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) in the home half for a 4-1 lead.

Jake Thomas then drilled a homerun over the right-field fence in the bottom of the fourth for three more runs to push the lead to 7-1 and knock out Gill (1-3).  The right-hander went four innings, giving up six earned runs on 13 hits, striking out one, but not issuing a walk.

UMBC pushed back in the top of the fifth, cutting the lead to three, 7-4, with three more runs against BU starter Mike Urbanski (2-1).  Barnes earned a lead-off walk to start the rally and two batters later, senior D.J. Smith (Millersville, Md./Old Mill), roped a single through the left side to put two runners on with one out.  Jesse Smith followed with a single as well to load the bases and then Casali welcomed reliever Anthony Grillini with a double to left-center to score two.  Esposito followed with a single through the left side to score Jesse Smith. 

That was as close as the Retrievers would get, though, as Binghamton tacked on one more run in the bottom of the sixth as Thomas homered again to right.

Urbanski lasted just 4.1 innings and surrendered four runs on four hits, but earned the win as his offense backed him up.

UMBC returns home to host Delaware State on Wednesday, April 9.  First pitch at Alumni Field between the Retrievers and the Hornets is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

DAWG BITES

-          Binghamton now leads the all-time series, 40-9, and holds a 40-6 advantage in America East play.

-          Dolshun (11-for-33) and Casali (12-for-36) are both hitting .333 in conference play this year.

-          Jesse Smith's single in the fourth was his first hit of the season.