Cats trade shutouts with Bearcats

On a beautiful day at historic Centennial Field the Vermont Catamount baseball team split a doubleheader with the Binghamton Bearcats. The Cats (7-24, 5-1 AE) got off to a great start in the first game behind the strong arm of sophomore Joe Serafin and the hitting of Senior Kyle Brault on their way to an 8-0 victory. Serafn (2-3), the reigning America East Pitcher of the week, and his team are glad to be back in conference play. After starting the season with a horrific 2-22 record the Cats have bounced back to start their conference schedule 5-1. Serafin has followed suit by going 2-0 with two shutouts. On Friday he was on point but got plenty of help from the rest of his team. He went 7 2/3 innings while striking out a season high 11 men and only giving up five hits and no runs. “I was hitting the corners and my breaking ball was working,” Serafin said. “It was great having run support and the defense taking care of things behind me.” Vermont started fast with two runs in the first inning off Bearcat hurler Scott Diamond (4-4). Senior Jason Carey doubled to deep left center field to drive in Junior Will Huntington from second. After Brault got out, freshman Jeff Nolet drove a bullet up the box for an RBI single. The Cats added to their lead in the third inning on a RBI single by Brault that scored junior Jim Chapman. UVM had a chance to bust open the game in the fifth inning when they loaded the bases with no outs. But some base running blunders cost the Cats runs. They were able to get one run across on a double by Brault that drove in Nolet. After scoring one more run and chasing Diamond out of the game, the Catamounts exploded for three runs in the eighth inning. Sophomore Kyle Massie ripped a double to left center that drove in junior Bryan Rembisz and freshman Jeff Heppner. After being sacrificed to third, Massie scored on a double over the right fielder’s head by Chapman. Each Cat in the starting lineup had at least one hit as the team scattered 16 hits including five doubles. Brault finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI’s to give him a team high 26 on the year. Massie went 2-for-4 with two RBI. The Cats suffered their first conference loss of the year 8-0 in the seven-inning night cap against Binghamton (18-12, 5-3) and pitcher Zachary Groh who struck out 10 and walked only two while scattering four hits. Groh improved his NCAA best ERA to 0.44 while extending his streak without allowing a run to 36 innings. He did get a lot of help from his team who scored six runs in the fourth inning as they batted around against the Cats Rembisz (1-5). Vermont and Binghamton wrapped up their series with another doubleheader on Saturday. The Cats head on a road trip to Dartmouth and Albany next week before coming back home for a four game set against Stony Brook May 5th-7th.