by Tyler Roaix
The Central Connecticut State University baseball team went into a weekend series at Binghamton riding high, scoring a combined 17 runs in their last two games. But the offense struggled to get much going, scoring just six runs total in the three-game set.
The weekend series began with a double header on Saturday. The early game featured a CCSU offense that struggled to get anything going, as Central fell 6-1.
The Blue Devils started off well with junior Dean Lockery, hitting a leadoff homerun to take an early 1-0 lead. He would later single to account for two of the team’s three hits in the game.
Justin Yurchak carried Binghamton to the win. The third baseman went two-for-three at the plate, but his two-run homerun in the fifth inning delivered a huge blow to Central’s plans for a comeback.
Nick Gallagher was strong on the mound for Binghamton, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings of work. Gallagher also had two strikeouts, pushing his record to 6-1 on the season. The bullpen got the job done as well. Joe Orlando and Nicholas Liegi finished the game giving up just one hit combined.
Brendan Smith received the loss for CCSU, dropping his record to 3-6 on the year. He gave up two runs on five hits, but pitched just four innings. Tom Curtin struggled as well; he allowed three earned runs in three innings out of the bullpen.
Central was able to bounce back in the second game with a hard-fought 3-2 victory, earning a split of the double header.
The Blue Devils again jumped out to an early lead with a homerun from Mitch Guilmette, leading off the second inning. They added on two more in the fourth inning to make it 3-0, after an RBI triple from Buddy Dewaine and an RBI single from Dylan Maher.
Ron Grant had an impressive start for Central, holding Binghamton to just two hits in the first five innings of play. But the Bearcats finally broke through in the sixth.
Grant ended up allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out six in 5.1 innings of work. Two hits and a walk in the inning helped Binghamton cut the lead to just one going into the final inning.
The Bearcats again rallied in the seventh, getting runners on second and third with two out. Coach Charlie Hickey brought in Patrick Mitchell to get the final out of the game. Mitchell did just that, inducing a ground ball out to secure his third save of the year.
The rubber match proved to be the most exciting game of the series, as the two teams took it to extra innings in yet another pitchers duel.
The scoring started early yet again as TT Bowens singled in a run to give the Blue Devils an early 1-0 lead. But the Bearcats answered quickly with a solo homerun off the bat of Brendan Skidmore, tying it up at one run apiece. The teams then traded runs in the sixth to bring the score to 2-2.
The pitching duel then continued all the way into extra innings. But in the bottom of the 11th inning, Skidmore came through again for the Bearcats with a bases-loaded walk-off single to secure the win and the series.
The weekend performance brings Central’s overall record to 22-18. But their second-place position in the Northeastern Conference remains unchanged with a 12-5 record in NEC play. The Blue Devils will be back at home this weekend to face conference opponent Sacred Heart.