March 1, 2014

Offense Keys Win Over VMI

LEXINGTON, VA - After recording just two hits in a quiet 2-0 loss less than 24 hours earlier to VMI, the Buffalo baseball team had each of its top five batters in the order record two hits as the Bulls (5-1) earned its best win of the early season with a 6-5 win over the Keydets Saturday afternooon. Anthony Magovney moved his season record to 2-0, and the bullpen was able to hold on through a late rally from the home side.

The offense continued to be frustrated early in the game, going without a hit in the first two innings. Once the seal was broken in the third, however, all bets were off. With two outs and a runner on, Tyler Mautner and Thomas Richards strung together singles that would bring in the game's first run for a 1-0 lead. The team would plate two more runs in the fourth in a similar situation, with a runner on and two out. This time, it would be Matt Pollock and Mike Burke who would provide the RBIs, scoring Kyle Figgins and Jimmy Topps to provide a cushion for Magovney.

It would be another quality start for the junior righthander, as Magovney would ultimately pitch into the eight inning before being lifted for sophomore Ben Hartz. He would scatter six hits and walk just one batter while striking out four. In four of his seven innings, he would face the minimum batters.

The team's two runs in the fourth would come in handy, as VMI would scratch together a run in the bottom of the frame to make it a 3-1 game. Richards would get that run back with another RBI single in the seventh, and Figgins would leg out a bases-loaded infield single. The team scored again in the eighth for a run that would be more important than they would seem at the time.

VMI hit a solo home run and scored again off a Buffalo error in the home half of the eighth to make it 6-3. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Hartz would walk the first two batters he faced, and both would come home on a two-out triple that went into the left center gap. Hartz would recover well from the adversity, striking out the final batter with the tying run standing on third.

Buffalo still has one game remaining tomorrow in the VMI Tournament, taking on UMES with Mike Burke scheduled to make the start. Due to a weather front moving into the area, the game has been moved up to 10:30 am.