On Saturday night, Binghamton coming out of the loser’s bracket grabbed a 4-3 win in a hotly contested victory over Stony Brook that ended up finishing at 11:39 pm forcing a winner take all game on Sunday afternoon at noon.
Could the the two teams compete with Saturday night’s classic? I doubted it as I made the trip to the stadium. I was totally wrong as both teams came out and played some of the most passionate baseball you could ever see on Sunday in Lowell, Massachusetts.
Stony Brook started number 1 starter Frankie Vanderka while Binghamton counted Casey Wenzel.
Both pitchers came out of the gate shaky to say the least with each of them giving up a run in the first frame.
The Bearcats though were able to string together five hits in the second inning highlighted by RBI singles by Zach Blanden, Bill Bereszniewic, and Daniel Nevares to give Binghamton the 4-1 lead after two innings.
The game remained 4-1 until the fourth inning when Stony Brook scratched across a run against Wenzel which ended up day. The run scored on an error from Binghamton third baseman Reed Gamache when he booted an Anthony Italiano ground ball.
Stony Brook would tie the game on an RBI singles by Kevin Krause in the fifth and a Joshua Mason in the sixth inning.
All the momentum was on the side of Stony Brook as they headed into the seventh inning to hit with the score tied at four. The Seawolves grabbed four hits in the inning bringing home three runs with Cole Peragine, Casey Baker, and Johnny Caputo each picking up an RBI.
The three run inning didn’t get the Bearcats down though as they put together a run on three hits in the seventh inning to make it 7-5.
Stony Brook failed to score in the top of the eighth inning off of reliever Anthony Griillini giving Binghamton a chance to rally in the bottom of the inning. With Shaun McGraw on second and Jake Thomas on third after a McGraw double, Reed Gamache came through with a single up the middle tying the game at seven.
The game remained tied until the 12th inning after Binghamton left a runner on base in the ninth, two in the tenth and two in the eleventh.
Binghamton reliever Anthony Grillini worked around a two out error and a single to set up the bottom of the 12th where the Bearcats eventually finished off the championship.
Shaun McGraw led off the inning with a line drive single to center field. Following him in the lineup was Reed Gamache who bunted the ball too hard back to Cameron Stone who tossed to second base to get the force out on McGraw. Brendan Skidmore hit a single to center putting runners on first and second with one out. John Howell worked a five pitch walk to load up the bases for freshman catcher Eddie Posavec who had been hitting the ball a ton in the America East Tournament.
To say he got a hold of a pitch is to put it lightly as he sent a towering fly ball to left center field that looked like it might get out of the park off the bat but was plenty far enough to bring home Gamache from third with the winning run and clinch Binghamton’s spot in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament.