HARRISONBURG, Va., Feb. 23, 2014 – Binghamton struck for six runs in the first three innings to grab a 6-1 lead and pulled away again when James Madison pulled within a run to earn a four-game series split with a 9-7 baseball win on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
With the win, BU left Harrisonburg with a 3-4 mark on the season while JMU fell to 4-4.
Mike Kaufman earned the victory with three innings of relief allowing three runs. Casey Wenzel was even more effective, limiting JMU to one hit for the sixth through eighth innings without a run scored. Junior starter Patrick Toohers (Florham Park, N.J./Seton Hall Prep) took the loss after allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits in three innings as the starter.
Senior right fielder Tyler Gregory (Dothan, Ala./Houston Academy) had two hits with a double, triple and three RBIs as JMU’s only batter with multiple hits. Freshman second baseman Josh Wyatt (Eden, Md./James M. Bennett) singled, walked and was hit twice while scoring a pair of runs. Junior left fielder Chad Carroll (Oakton, Va./Oakton) singled, walked twice, scored twice, drove in a run and stole a pair of bases.
Binghamton spread out its 10 hits among eight of its nine batters in the lineup. Third baseman David Schanz had a pair of hits, a hit by pitch and three RBIs. Right fielder Zach Blanden also had two hits.
For the fourth straight game in the series, the Bearcats broke on top with a pair of runs in the first with an RBI groundout by second baseman Daniel Nevares and a score on a throwing error on a stolen base attempt.
After the Bearcats stranded the bases loaded in the second, the Dukes got one run back in the bottom of the frame when Carroll walked, stole second, stole third and scored on shortstop Kyle Weston’s (Penn Laird, Va./Spotswood) infield single.
Binghamton kept up the early onslaught in the third, putting the first three batters on with a pair of singles and an error. Catcher Eddie Posavec drove in a run with a hit by pitch and Schanz followed with a two-run single to center. The Bearcats added a fourth run with a fielder’s choice groundout by center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz.
The Dukes answered Binghamton’s four runs with three of their own in the third. JMU’s first four batters all reached via two walks and two hit batters, but a pair of pickoffs at first base kept the Dukes off the board. With two outs and runners on the corners, Carroll singled to right to plate the first run. A balk scored the second JMU run of the frame and Gregory doubled deep to left to cap the three-run rally.
Madison pulled within a run in the fourth as junior center fielder Kevin Husum (Panama City, Fla./Bay) beat out a tapper to third to drive in a run before the Dukes left the bases loaded. Binghamton earned that run back in the sixth with a sacrifice fly by left fielder Jake Thomas to make it 7-5. BU took advantage of a pair of JMU errors in the seventh to add two runs to its lead and make it 9-5.
The Dukes put their first two runners on in the ninth, and both came around to score on Gregory’s two-out triple to left center. However, reliever Mike Bunal recovered to strike out Weston to end the game.
JMU wraps up a six-game home set on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. game against Maryland.