Scarcello's Walk-Off Clinches Extra-Inning Victory
LEXINGTON, VA - The Buffalo (6-1) baseball team overcame a handful of mental errors early on in its Sunday morning tilt with Maryland-Eastern Shore (0-8), erasing a 3-2 deficit to force extra innings. Mike Scarcello would end it in the bottom of the tenth with a two-run home run, his first of the season. Mike Kaelin would earn the win on the mound, but Mike Burke set the tone with a dominant day pitching.
The senior right hander had to work out of jams in the first and second innings after the UB defense committed errors. He would get a strike out to end the first, but the Hawks would load the bases with no outs in the second inning after an error on what would have been a fielder's choice to get the lead runner. Burke would seemingly be unfazed, striking out two straight batters swinging before getting a tapper back to the mound for the third out.
After committing those first two errors, Scarcello took it upon himself to get his bat going and did so in the fourth to open the scoring. Thanks to a single from Vinny Mallaro and walks to Brian Dudek and Kyle Figgins, the Bulls would have the bases loaded with just one out. Scarcello would plate a pair with a single into the right center gap to put the Bulls out in front, 2-0.
The Hawks would finally take advantage of the UB defensive errors in the fifth inning to take its first lead of the weekend. A leadoff walk and a single would get them started, and after a bunt put them both in scoring position, one run would come home on a throwing error. The next batter would drive two more runs in thanks to a triple for a 3-2 lead.
Needing to even the score for Burke, the Bulls would manufacture the tying run in the sixth. Dudek would lead off with a double, then was bunted to third before a Jimmy Topps fly ball would even the game back up, 3-3. Both sides would have quality chances to take the lead in the eighth and ninth, but the game would head to extra innings.
Kaelin would continue to make a strong return from his 2013 injury, getting an inning-ending double play in the ninth and working out of the tenth with little issue.
In the home half of the tenth, Kyle Brennan, who entered the game in the ninth as a defensive replacement, would beat out an infield single and was bunted over to second for Dudek. The Bulls would not need small ball to earn the win, however, as Scarcello put it over the left field fence for the win.
While it wasn't his best day in the field, the senior Scarcello had arguably his best game ever in the batter's box, going 3-4 with four RBI. Matt Pollock would also have three hits in the game. Burke would hand the ball over to Kaelin after allowing just one earned run over eight innings, striking out nine and walking just one batter.
Now 6-1 this season, the Bulls have the best record to start a season since the 1967 team under coach Jim Peelle started out 8-0 en route to a 16-1 record.
The team will next play against SEC power Georgia, who is guided by former Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin. The Bulls and Bulldogs will face off Friday night at 6 pm.