by Dillon Meehan
With the score tied 1-1 against Binghamton in the bottom of the 10th inning with two outs and runners on first and second, Central Connecticut State University brought on junior Mitch Guilmette to pinch-hit for freshman TT Bowens.
Guilmette hit a line drive into center field and Franklin Jennings rounded third and beat the throw home to score the game-winning run.
The Blue Devils (12-11, 4-2 NEC) 2-1 win saw them split the Sunday doubleheader against Binghamton (9-5, 1-0 AEC) after losing the first game 3-0.
“We’ve struggled again offensively to be productive, but at the end of the day, if you get a split then we’re treading water. We’re still waiting for some guys to get healthy on pitching side and we have to continue to be creative offensively,” said Blue Devils head coach Charlie Hickey after the game.
The Blue Devils only scored two runs, despite getting 10 hits on the day. Not being able to capitalize with runners in scoring position has become a trend for CCSU this season.
“When you score two runs and you’re able to walk away with a win, you’re fortunate,” Hickey said of his team’s hard-fought victory.
Despite the win, Hickey made sure to mention that his team still can improve if they hope to have post-season success.
“Obviously when you get a pinch-hit single to win the ballgame, everybody feels better about themselves. But we’ve got to remember the deficiencies that we have to continue to improve on,” said Hickey.
After having consecutive losing seasons, a first for the Blue Devils under Hickey, it appears as though the team full of seasoned players is beginning to mature.
“Now we’ve got some guys who’ve been playing this game for a couple of years at this level so they have to be mature. This is going to happen in our conference where we’re going to have to play the doubleheaders. So you get stuffed a little in that first game and you have to find a way to rip and claw to win,” said Hickey of his team’s ability to respond.
Doubleheaders are common in conference play so if the Blue Devils can show that they are able to hold their own in early April, it is a promising sign for the rest of their 2017 campaign.
“We’re gonna face this some more and a win like today helps, and that’s where our experience and confidence continues to grow,” said Hickey of his team’s improvement.