The Binghamton Rumble Ponies return home this weekend to host the Reading Fightin’ Phils at NYSEG Stadium. The series begins tonight at 7:05 with fireworks following the game and continues tomorrow night at 7:05 before wrapping up with a 1:05 matinee on Sunday for Father’s Day. Also yesterday, Binghamton announced that Darryl Strawberry will be in town for a special meet-and-greet before and during their game on July 2. Special VIP Picnic tickets are available for $75. Contact the box office for more information.
Three local high school teams won state championships over the weekend, including the Vestal baseball team, who rode shutout pitching performances to their first state title since 1996. Sophomore Kyle Taborne threw a shutout in the semifinals Friday, while junior Dom Dirado did the same in Saturday’s championship. Pitching was also the name of the game for both the Maine-Endwell and Deposit softball teams, who won state championships this weekend in South Glens Falls. Maine-Endwell’s Emily Hess threw shutouts in both the semifinal and final games Saturday to lead the Spartans to their second consecutive state title while Deposit’s Makenzie Stiles struck out 29 and allowed five hits as she led the Jacks to their third straight championship.
Ryan Blaney passed Kyle Busch and held on to win his first career Monster Energy Cup Series race yesterday at Pocono. As heard live on WEBO, Blaney charged past the 2015 series champion and then held off Kevin Harvick’s late charge to claim the first victory for the famed Wood Brothers team since the 2011 Daytona 500. Rookie Erik Jones finished third. Brad Keselowski won the Xfinity Series race on Saturday. Both series will race at Michigan next weekend.
In NASCAR, both series are in Long Pond, PA for races this weekend at Pocono Raceway that will be heard live on WEBO. The Xfinity Series will race the Pocono Green 250 Saturday, with Motor Racing Network coverage beginning at 12:30pm. The Monster Energy Cup drivers will try to conquer the “Tricky Triangle” on Sunday. MRN coverage will start at 2pm. Kurt Busch won last year’s race at Pocono.
In sports, this is championship weekend in New York State. In baseball, Seton and Vestal will play semifinal games Friday, with the Saints playing at 3pm at Binghamton University and the Golden Bears playing at 4pm at Union-Endicott. The winners will play for the state title at NYSEG Stadium Saturday. In softball, defending champions Binghamton, Maine-Endwell, and Deposit will all play for repeat titles Saturday in South Glens Falls. Semifinals are scheduled for the morning with championship games in the afternoon. The Vestal girls lacrosse team will play a semifinal Friday at SUNY Cortland. Finally, the state’s track and field championships will be held all day Friday and Saturday at Union-Endicott’s Ty Cobb Stadium. An $8 admission fee will be charged for each event.
The Binghamton Devils will drop the puck for their first-ever home game at 7:05pm on Saturday, Oct. 7 in the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. The rest of this season’s schedule will be announced later this summer. The Devils are still selling full and half-season ticket memberships, and are also offering a “Devils Dozen” ticket package which includes tickets to their home opener. Visit www.binghamtondevils.com or call the front office at 607-722-7367 for more information.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies General Manager Jim Weed has stepped down from the organization to pursue another career opportunity in the area. Weed has worked for the Binghamton baseball organization for the last 21 years and has been the GM since 2010. Team President John Hughes thanked Weed for his work and announced that the GM position will remain vacant for the remainder of the season. Assistant General Manager John Bayne will oversee business operations while Sports Turf Manager Tyler Jennings will head up baseball operations. The Rumble Ponies are hosting “Sock Out Cancer” night at NYSEG Stadium tonight, and special rainbow socks are available for purchase in the team store to benefit the organization that helps cancer patients pay for basic needs like bills and groceries.
In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson conquered the “Monster Mile” at Dover Sunday to win the Cup Series race heard live on WEBO. It was the 83rd career victory for Johnson, which ties him with his childhood hero Cale Yarborough for sixth place on NASCAR’s all-time list. Johnson took the lead on the day’s final restart and held off Kyle Larson for the win. The race ended under caution after a nine-car wreck on the backstretch during the final lap. Larson won Saturday’s Xfinity race. Both series will race in Pocono next weekend.