VESTAL (WBNG) — It’s not baseball or softball weather in the Southern Tier, but the Binghamton University baseball and softball teams start their seasons on Friday. In order to do so, each team is traveling more than 1,000 miles away.
“Hard to believe the week is here already,” said Binghamton softball head coach Michelle Johnston.
“We’re been inside the past couple of weeks,” said Binghamton baseball senior infielder Matt Tsukroff. “The weather hasn’t been on our side unfortunately, but I think everyone is very anxious and ready to get going down in Florida against Michigan in the warm weather.”
The Binghamton baseball team will travel south about 12-hundred miles to the New York Mets’ spring training facility on Friday to open its season against Michigan.
“Playing at the Mets’ spring training complex is going to be awesome,” said Tsukroff. “We’re going to be surrounded by and playing on the best facilities in the country. So, it’s going to be an awesome experience and hopefully we take a couple games from Michigan.”
Meanwhile, the softball team is headed west more than 27-hundred miles away to Northridge, California for the CSUN Early Bird Classic.
“We’ve got four players from outside the L.A. area,” said Johnston. “So, (I’m) excited for them to be able to play close to home.”
Both teams are looking to rebound from disappointing 2018 seasons with a new cast of Bearcats.
“I think this team is really close,” said Johnston. “And, I think it’s something they’ve been working at. I think one of their goals is to play as a team and for each other. I think it’s just going to be important that they continue to kind of do that throughout the entire season.”
“I think we’ve got a really good team this year,” said Binghamton baseball senior outfielder Anthony Meduri. “We’ve got a good combination of young talent and some older guys who have seen what it takes to win an America East Championship. With the combination of those two, I think we’re looking pretty good this year.”
And both teams look to rely on their pitching staffs to open the 2019 season.
“We have a lot of big arms this year,” said Binghamton baseball junior pitcher Jake Miller. “Even in lower class guys like sophomores and freshmen. They’ve all shown great stuff. Obviously, we have three starters. They’ve been named. It’s a big mix-up and we have a lot of guys that can compete. Just like I said earlier, our pitching staff has to be consistent.”
“I think for any of our pitchers and any of our players, it’s important to just go out there and be confident in what you’re doing, and trust each other, and always bring a good presence,” said Binghamton softball junior pitcher Rayn Gibson. “Your energy is contiguous. So, just working to be a positive energy is just going to be best for everyone.”
Above all else, these players are just pumped to escape the snow.
“I’m just excited to get in the 80 degree weather and get out of here,” said Miller. “It’s going to be a great opportunity. All the pictures of the stadium look great, but the warm weather will be nice.”
“The warm weather will definitely help us stay loose and stay warm throughout the games,” said Binghamton softball junior infielder Kassidy Seary. “We’re just really excited to get into some warm weather.”
The BU baseball team and Michigan throw out the first pitch Friday at 1 p.m. and the softball team starts with a doubleheader against CSU Bakersfield Friday at 3:30 p.m.