Craig Binkiewicz scores the game winning run
April 26, 2007
NEWARK, NJ - New Jersey Institute of Technology's base running put pressure on the Saint Peter's defense and the Highlanders took advantage of the ensuing mistakes to score a 5-4 baseball win Thursday night at Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium.
The victory was the third straight and ninth overall for NJIT, which was successful on five of six stolen base attempts along with other aggressive plays on the bases, which contributed to the win.
NJIT broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning when CF Craig Binkiewicz came around to score the winning run without benefit of a hit. Binkiewicz was hit by a pitch leading off and then went to second on a one-out stolen base.
He advanced to third easily on Miguel Lugo's ground ball into the shortstop hole. Binkiewicz then rounded third on the same play. That drew the attention of the Saint Peter's shortstop, who, in his haste to catch the runner off the bag, skipped his throw past third base, allowing the NJIT sophomore to trot home with the winning run.
Binkiewicz and 3B Mike Turner each had two hits for the Highlanders. Binkiewicz was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Turner was 2-for-4, accounting for NJIT's extra-base hit with a two-out second-inning double.
Highlander 2B Matt Schlitter had one hit, but it came with one out and drove home two runs, as NJIT erased a 3-0 deficit with a three-run fifth inning.
Junior LHP Cory Kuzmik got the win, raising his record to 2-2 with a scoreless ninth inning. Saint Peter's got two men on base with one out, but Kuzmik struck out the next two batters to quell the threat, before his team pulled out the win in the bottom of the frame.
RHP Chris Innis (3-4), the fifth of five Saint Peter's pitchers, took the loss, working the eighth inning and recording one out in the ninth before Binkiewicz scored the game-winning run.
LF Kevin Kallert was 3-for-4 with three RBI for the Peacocks. Kallert's two-run homer in the third inning had boosted his team into a 3-0 lead. His infield hit with two outs in the top of the eighth had driven home 2B Dennis Alexander with an unearned run to pull the visitors even at 4-4.
NJIT's starting pitcher, LHP PJ Saporito, did not figure in the decision, but gave a strong effort, working eight full innings and allowing seven hits and four runs (one earned). The sophomore struck out six without yielding a walk.
Saint Peter's got on the board first, thanks to a triple by C John Lynch and a run-scoring single by CF Wayne Guarino, both with two out in the second inning.
The Peacocks added two more in the third inning, as Alexander reached on an error leading off and later scored on Kallert's two-out shot over the left field fence.
Trailing, 3-0, NJIT tied the score with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Binkiewicz led off with a single and moved all the way to third when Saint Peter's made two errors on the play. After a strikeout, Lugo walked. Kwesi Mitchell then reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Binkiewicz, as Lugo stayed on the bases, due to a throwing error.
Mitchell and Lugo then moved up on a double steal, setting up Schlitter's two-run single, which tied the score.
The Highlanders grabbed the lead an inning later, as LF Derrick McCain stroked a two-out single and stole second and then third, coming home with the go-ahead run when the catcher's throw on the steal of third sailed into the outfield.
The Peacocks pulled even a final time in the top of the eighth, setting the scene for NJIT's walkoff win an inning later.
The Highlanders are scheduled to host Felician on Sunday at noon in Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium. Sunday's single intercollegiate game will be followed immediately by the program's annual Alumni game.