VESTAL, NY – With several inches of snow blanketing the area, every local sporting event was canceled Friday night.
However, that seemed like a perfect time to think about some sunnier days and preview another Binghamton University athletics program.
Entering the 2020 season, the B.U. baseball team is going in with some high expectations.
For the third time in the last four years, the Bearcats were voted by the America East coaches as the preseason favorites to win the conference.
With what B.U. has done over the 13 years, it’s no surprise they were tabbed to bring another title back to Vestal.
In that time, head coach Tim Sinicki has guided his team to six regular season titles and four America East championships.
Despite the preseason honor, Sinicki says he and the team don’t really focus on things like that.
However, the twenty-eight year B.U. skipper does see a lot of potential in this year’s team that has he and his staff excited about what’s to come.
“So far, the guys that I think we’re going to count on to be productive players for us have shown just that. You know, their skills, at least so far inside and in the fall, have done nothing but get a little better. No one has taken a step back. I think everyone’s gotten a little bit better. In some instances, some guys have gotten a lot better. So, I think that has the entire staff kind of happy about where we’re at,” Sinicki said.
The Bearcats return twenty-three players from last season.
One is catcher TJ Wegmann, who will play a large role both behind the plate and in the dugout as the senior was voted team captain.
Junior Shane Marshall returns as the team’s top bat.
Marshall won the conference batting title after hitting .376 last season.
Both Wegmann and Marshall like what they’ve seen from the younger players, and believe that last year’s trip to the America East Championship Game gave everyone a great experience and helped set the precedent for this year.
“We got a lot of guys back. So, we have a lot of veterans that know what it takes to have some success at this level. I’ve been very impressed by the freshmen so far. It looks like they’re going to be major contributors for us this year. So, I’m excited for that,” says Wegmann.
“Last year was a first for a lot of kids on the team getting to the finals of the conference tournament, and I think that will only benefit our team. And just kind of drive us more to get to that point, and obviously, try to win the game and move on from there,” Marshall added.
The Bearcats take the field for the first time a week from today down in South Carolina.
Binghamton takes on Wofford in game one of a three-game series with an outing each day of the weekend.
First pitch Friday comes at 6:00 pm.