LOWELL, Massachusetts – After winning two straight in tournament play, the Black Bears were back in action Saturday afternoon facing off with the #1 seed Binghamton Bearcats after their round-one loss to Albany. The Black Bears got out to a good offensive start in the first inning, and despite the Bearcats creeping back into it, the Black Bears put the game away in the top of the ninth with four runs to take the game by a final score of 8-3.
The Black Bears got on the board in the first inning with a RBI single to right-center by Tyler Schwanz, which scored Lou Della Fera from second base, and then a pair of errors would score two more for an early 3-0 Maine lead.
Binghamton crept back into it over the course of three innings, scoring one in the third and two in the fifth, while Maine tallied one more in the fourth on an RBI double to left-center field, scoring Jeremy Pena. After five innings, Maine held a 4-3 lead.
Connor Johnson came into the game in the fifth inning and held Binghamton to their two runs. He would pitch 1.1 innings, allowing only one hit and no runs. Cody Laweryson would relieve him and pitch the final 3.2 innings, allowing one hit, no runs, while walking one and striking out four. The two would combine for a win/save combo that kept Binghamton from tying.
With Maine up by a run in the top of the ninth, the Black Bears went to bat with one thing in mind: insurance. With the bases loaded, Hernen Sardinas hit an RBI single to score Christopher Bec and advance the rest, to give Maine a 5-3 lead. Then Cody Pasic, with the bases loaded, would hit a huge double to left field, clearing the bags with 3 RBIs to give Maine the five run lead, and the final score of 8-3.
Johnson’s win is his fourth on the year, he is now 4-4. Laweryson’s save was his first career save.
The Black Bears advance to play the Albany Great Danes in the final game of the loser’s bracket, with the winner going on to the championship game on Sunday against UMBC.