LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell baseball team fell 9-6 to Binghamton in a non-conference affair on Wednesday at windswept Depew Field. The Bearcats scored three times in the opening inning and then broke it open with a five-run fifth inning. The Bison plated runs in each of their final three turns at bat, but they needed to get one more man aboard to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth.
Bucknell used 18 position players and seven pitchers in the mid-week tilt. Dominic Toso picked up a pinch-hit, two-run double in the seventh inning, and Keifer Rawlings, Alex Baumann and Luke Johnson also collected RBIs. Johnson’s run-scoring double in the ninth extended his streak to 19 straight games reaching base.
Paul Rufo had two hits and two RBIs for Binghamton, and Jason Agresti and Sam Freedman also drove in a pair of runs. The Bearcats tallied their nine runs on only seven hits, taking advantage of eight walks, four hit batsmen and five errors.
Rufo’s two-run double, followed by an RBI single by Sean Trenholm, got Binghamton off and running in the top of the first. They also added a single run in the second on Agresti’s walk with the bases loaded. Jack Simpson, on in relief of starter Nicholas Sadd, escaped further trouble by inducing an infield pop and a ground out to keep it a 4-0 game.
Meanwhile, Binghamton starter Joe Orlando pitched three scoreless and hitless innings before turning the game over to the bullpen. The Bearcats used five pitchers in the game.
Bucknell could not get much going against Orlando, but the Bison quickly loaded the bases with no one out against Josh Kopcza in the fourth. But Kopczka got a big 4-6-3 double play followed by a fly out to limit the damage to just the one run.
That proved big in the top of the fifth, when Binghamton sent 10 men to the plate and scored five times on four hits. The key play came after the first two batters of the inning reached via a single and a hit batsman. Luke Tevlin dropped a bunt just in front of home plate, but the throw to third that would have resulted in a sure force out got away, allowing the runner to score from second. One batter later, Freedman launched a two-run double into the right-center alley. Later in the inning, CJ Kowiak singled home a run, and Agresti had a sac fly to make it a 9-1 game.
Bucknell made things interesting in the late innings. Toso’s two-out, two-run double made it 9-3 after seven. Rawlings singled home Ben Smith in the eighth, and then Baumann and Johnson knocked in runs in the ninth. But Binghamton’s Cal Lawrence squelched the rally with a strikeout to end it.
Binghamton scored all nine of its runs in just three innings, and only two of Bucknell’s seven pitchers were charged with runs. Simpson, Christian Tailor, Mike Stephens, Nate Grisius and Brenden Tuttle all had scoreless outings. Grisius struck out the side in the eighth.
The Bison get back into Patriot League play this weekend when Lafayette comes to town for a three-game series. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at noon and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Depew Field. Sunday’s game will air on the Patriot League Network at PatriotLeague.tv.