University of Maine right-hander Nick Sinacola, the reigning America East Co-Pitcher of the Week, followed up a brilliant outing last weekend with another gem on Friday.
The sophomore pitched a three-hitter with 15 strikeouts as the Black Bears earned a 2-0 victory over Binghamton in the first game of a doubleheader at Mahaney Diamond in Orono.
Sinacola struck out 16 in a four-hit effort in last Saturday’s 4-1 win over the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Binghamton (3-5, all in the conference) salvaged a split with an 8-3 win in the nightcap.
UMaine is 8-5 (3-2) going into Saturday’s 11 a.m. twinbill.
On a sun-drenched but cool Friday, Sinacola struck out at least two hitters in every inning except the seventh in the seven-inning game. He featured a nasty slider, a live fastball and split-fingered offspeed pitch.
Sinacola, now 4-0 with a 1.01 earned run average, struck out the side in the second and sixth innings, two in the first, third, fourth and fifth frames and one in the seventh.
Sinacola surrendered a bunt single to Daniel Franchi with two outs in the third inning, a two-out double to Tommy Reifler in the fourth and a one-out single to Cavan Tully in the fifth.
The Black Bears provided Sinacola with the only runs he would need in the first inning.
Quinn McDaniel reached on a base hit to third and Jeff Mejia walked. One out later, Sean Lawlor singled to left to score McDaniel. With two outs, Mejia stole third and scored on a catcher’s throwing error.
Sophomore lefty Thomas Babalis, America East’s unanimous Rookie of the Year selection in 2019, also pitched well. He tossed five innings of three-hit, two-run ball with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
One of the runs off him was unearned.
Tanner Beang worked a scoreless sixth.
Besides McDaniel and Lawlor, the only other Black Bear hit was a Connor Goodman single.
In the nightcap, the Bearcats took full advantage of a Black Bear bullpen implosion as four relievers surrendered five runs in the eighth and ninth innings on six walks, a hit batsman, a wild pitch and three hits.
Binghamton snapped a 3-3 tie with three, two-out runs in the eighth and two more in the ninth.
UMaine redshirt freshman reliever Colton Carson hit Kevin Gsell to open the eighth and Justin Drpich sacrificed him to second. After striking out Reifler, Binghamton’s leading hitter, Carson walked the next three hitters to force in the game-winning run.
He was lifted in favor of Dillon Stimpson, who was greeted by Franchi’s two-run single.
In the ninth, after Nick Caviglia retired the first two hitters, Drpich doubled and came around to score on three walks. Caviglia was replaced by Leif Bigelow and T.J. Wegmann promptly delivered an RBI single.
Reifler had three hits and a run batted in for the winners, Wegmann had two hits, three walks and drove in two runs and Drpich doubled twice.
Justin Rosner threw three innings of one-hit, scoreless relief to pick up the win.
Lawlor (double), Goodman and Scout Knotts posted two hits apiece for UMaine. Joe Bramanti had a single and a sacrifice fly and drove in two runs.
UMaine freshman right-hander Noah Lewis of South Portland pitched six innings of six-hit, three run ball. One of the runs was unearned.