Baseball rallies to walk-off against Army, drops mid-week game to Penn State, beats Binghamton

Stephen Olick-Sutphen, Senior Writer

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The Bison baseball team went 1-2 in a three-game conference series against Army at Depew Field on March 30 and 31. The team lost to Penn State 9-3 on April 2, but quickly regained momentum to overcome Binghamton 6-4 the following day. Their overall record now stands at 9-21.

 

The Bison dropped both games of the doubleheader against Army, losing 4-3 in the first and 16-9 in the second. The first game held potential as the Bison registered seven hits in the game and rallied from 4-0 down in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to 4-3, but the comeback came up short. The Orange and Blue were able to rebound on March 31 in a thrilling 7-6 walk-off victory.

 

In the first game of the doubleheader on March 30, the Bison struggled through six innings after Army quickly got to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Pitcher Nate Grisius ’20 kept the win in reach when he struck out an Army batter to keep the Bison within one. In the fourth inning, Army brought in another run, with two more runs in the fifth inning to extend their lead to 4-0.

 

In the final inning, Dominic Toso ’21 hit a double, followed by another double by JohnPaul Bell ’20 to bring in Toso, cutting the deficit to 4-1. Alex Baumann ’20 brought in Bell on a single, helping the Bison to take a threatening position with two men in scoring position. However, the Orange and Blue could not bring in the tying run and fell to Army 4-3.

 

In the second game of the doubleheader, Army started strong again and jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first. Despite the Orange and Blue responding with four runs in the second inning to take the lead, Army went on to score two runs in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings to extend their lead to 9-4.

 

After the Bison scored three to cut the deficit to 9-7, Army’s bats got hotter and went on to score seven runs in the next three innings. The Orange and Blue gave positive performances coming out of the game as Tyler Wincig ’20 collected two home runs, the first time in the program since 2016. Additionally, Jared Drizin ’19 managed to hit his first career home run.

 

What I try to do is to explain the importance of winning the little battles. If we can make routine plays, have situational hits, and throw strikes, then we can compete in any game” Bell said. “What will be big for us is to continue to gain momentum. The best teams in all of sports are the streaky ones, and winning multiple games in a row is big for a team’s confidence. I think that once we put a few games together, we will be more successful. To do that, I think it begins with doing the little things right.”

 

The Bison turned things around in the final game of the series against Army with a big 7-6 walk-off win. The team entered the ninth inning down 6-3, but Bell drove in PJ Strahm ’19, and Drizin would later work a seven-pitch at-bat to bring in the winning run.

 

The Bison traveled to State College, Pa. to face Penn State on April 2. After collecting four runs in the fourth inning, the Lions strode to overcome the Orange and Blue 9-3. Just the next day, the team bounced back after a win against Binghamton 6-4. In the game against the Bearcats, Caleb Broughton ’21 collected three RBI’s to lead the team to the win.

 

“This season has not been easy for us, and we have been trying to hit our stride. We’ve been trying to incentivize what wins games, and ultimately in the Patriot League it comes down to who is going to compete and make plays that day for all nine innings,” said Bell. “The day before we showed flashes of good baseball, but it wasn’t enough. So ultimately I think that this weekend we were able to find some confidence and hopefully, that will give us momentum going into this weekend.”

 

The Bison will be back in action when they travel to Easton, Pa. to face the Leopards of Lafayette on April 6 at 12 p.m and 2:30 p.m and April 7 at 12 p.m.

 

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