Binghamton wins America East title day after epic nine-run ninth inning
LOWELL, Mass. -- Binghamton followed its historic comeback win on Friday with a 6-3 victory over Stony Brook in the America East championship game Saturday at LeLacheur Park.
The win completed a perfect 3-0 run through the tournament bracket for the top-seeded Bearcats (30-23), who captured their third conference crown in the last four years. Binghamton will now carry the America East's automatic berth into the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the last eight years. The NCAA draws will be unveiled at noon Monday on ESPNU.
Sophomore starter Nick Wegmann (W, 2-0) pitched five innings of two-hit ball and senior Rob Hardy (S, 7) went the final four innings to seal the victory. Hardy struck out the final two batters and didn't allow an earned run in his outing. The pair overcame sweltering temperatures in the mid-90s and BU's bats continued their assault on opposing pitchers with 13 hits.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jason Agresti went 3-for-4 with an RBI as a curtain call to his walk-off grand slam in Friday's epic win over Hartford. Senior second baseman Reed Gamache had two more hits and earned a spot on the all-championship team. Junior Brendan Skidmore drove in two key runs on Saturday and he and Game 1 ace Mike Bunal also made the all-championship team.
Stony Brook struck first with a run on one hit in the second inning. But the Bearcats answered in the fourth. Junior first baseman Brendan Skidmore led off with a walk and junior catcher Eddie Posavec and Agresti followed with singles to load the bases. Sophomore shortstop Paul Rufo plated the tying run with a groundout to deep short.
Binghamton took the lead for good in the fifth inning with four runs on five hits. Sophomore center fielder CJ Krowiak led off with a single (BU put its leadoff hitter on in five of the first seven innings) and Gamache drilled a one-out double, putting runners on second and third. Skidmore then ripped a two-run single up the middle to make it 3-1. Posavec followed with an opposite-field RBI double just inside the first base bag and Agresti finished off the scoring with an RBI single.
In the seventh, Gamache led off with a double and after a Skidmore single, Posavec made it 6-1 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Stony Brook got two runs back in the eighth and with two on and two out, the Seawolves brough the tying run to the plate. But a sharp liner headed back up the middle was snared by Hardy for the final out of the inning. Hardy then left another stranded with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game and clinch the title. Hardy scattered four hits and struck out four.
Posavec went 3-for-4 with two RBI and Krowiak went 3-for-5.
The conference title comes the day after an epic comeback against Hartford to advance to the conference title game. The Bearcats were down 6-0 heading to the ninth, and scored nine runs including a walk-off grand slam by Jason Agresti. Watch those highlights below.