VESTAL, N.Y. – Junior left fielder Jake Thomas hit two home runs — one a grand slam — and drove in career-high six runs as Binghamton defeated the University of Maine baseball team 8-2 Sunday in the final game of their three-game America East weekend series.
The teams split two games Saturday, with Tommy Lawrence pitching Maine to a 3-0 win in the opener and Binghamton countering with a 7-1 victory in the second game.
After being hit by pitches twice earlier in Sunday’s game, Thomas hit a towering grand slam off Maine pitcher Scott Heath of Westbrook in the sixth inning to extend the Seawolves’ lead to 6-1.
Thomas added a two-run blast in the eighth for the second two-homer game of his career.
Maine outhit Binghamton 9-8, but Seawolves’ batters were hit by pitches five times and were issued four walks.
Jake Cryts (3-4) surrendered two runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings to gain the pitching win, with freshman Jextin Pugh addding 2 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief.
With Sunday’s win, defending champion Binghamton (12-19, 7-8 AE) moved past Maine (14-21, 5-7 AE) and into fourth position in the America East standings with nine conference games remaining.
Maine got on the board with a run in the top of the fifth inning, as Nick Bernardo hit a leadoff double down the right-field line and scored on a Shane Bussey ground out.
Maine got its final rin in the top of the seventh inning on Jonathan Salcedo’s second home run of the season.
Jeff Gelinas (2-3) of Saco took the loss, allowing two runs on one hit over two in two innings before giving way to Heath, who yielded four runs on six hits over five innings. Charlie Butler worked the final two innings for the Black Bears.
In Saturday’s first game, Lawrence pitched a six-hit shutout, striking out seven batters and walking two to even his season record at 4-4.
Alex Calbick spearheaded the offense for the Black Bears. The senior infielder belted a solo home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning and also posted a double, a single and a run scored.
Sam Balzano of Portland singled twice and Heath had a single and drove in a run for UMaine, which collected 11 hits. Salcedo contributed a run-producing single.
Eddie Posavec doubled and singled to lead Binghamton. Jack Rogalla (3-5) scattered nine hits and walked four in 7 ⅔ innings.
Calbick gave the Black Bears a boost when he led off the eighth inning with a home run to right field.
UMaine built on the momentum as Brian Doran drew a one-out walk, moved up on Nick Bernardo’s single and rode home on a hit by Salcedo.
The Bears added an insurance run in the ninth. Troy Black reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out, stole second and Calbick walked, setting up Heath’s RBI single to center.
In Game 2, Mike Urbanski (3-1) and Greg Ostner combined on a five-hitter as Binghamton gained the split. Urbanski went four innings, then Ostner pitched the last two to gain the save.
The Bearcats scored three runs in the third and fifth innings to build their advantage.
Shaun McGraw drove in two runs with a pair of doubles and Thomas singled twice with an RBI. Reed Gamache rapped a double with two RBIs and Bill Bereszniewicz singled twice.
Black drilled a solo home run in the third inning to account for UMaine’s run.
Starter Shaun Coughlin (2-4) surrendered eight hits and four runs in only 2 ⅓ innings, then Luke Morrill of South Thomaston was touched for three runs in two innings.
Binghamton snapped a 1-1 tie and took the lead for good with three runs in the third.
Bereszniewicz led off with a single and took third on Thomas’ one-out hit.
McGraw brought in the first run with a double to left, then Gamache lined a two-run double to left, chasing Coughlin.