ST. BONAVENTURE, NY - Led by a stellar afternoon from senior outfielder Jimmy Topps, the UB baseball team split its Tuesday doubleheader at St. Bonaventure, winning game one 4-3 but losing the second 6-4. The split moves Buffalo to 12-10 overall, while the Bonnies are now 5-16.
In the first game, the Bulls would plate a single run in each of the first three innings before St. Bonaventure would even it up with three runs over the fourth and fifth. Topps would lead off the game with a single, and after one-out walks to Mike Burke and Tyler Mautner, Vinny Mallaro would bring in the game's first run on a sacrifice fly to left. In the second, it would be Topps that would drive in the run, as his single would score Mike Scarcello from second. Nick Sinay's speed led to the team's run in the third, as he would bunt his way on, force an errant pickoff that put him all the way over to third, and he would walk home on an opposite-field single by Burke.
The Bonnies would score a pair of unearned runs in the fourth and add another in the fifth to tie the game, but the superb relief effort of Cory Folk would give UB a chance to earn the win. The senior lefty scattered four hits in his three innings, striking out four along the way.
In the top of the seventh and final inning, Sinay would strike for the winning RBI. Topps' third hit of the game would put runners on the corners with two outs, and Sinay would come through with a single back up the gut for what would be the decisive run in a 4-3 triumph.
The second game would feature the Bonnies sporting a 4-3 lead, only in this game it came after just the first inning. The Bulls would score runs on a walk and two ground outs, but the Bonnies roughed up UB starter Mike McGee with four runs in the home half, highlighted by a three-run home run. The home side would add single runs in the second and third to chase McGee from the game, but Mike Kaelin would provide solid relief for the Bulls. The freshman went the final three innings, allowing just a single hit.
Buffalo had a solid chance to steal another win in the final inning, loading up the bases with just one out thanks to singles from Chris Kwitzer and Mike Scarcello, and a walk to Topps. Sinay would again come through with the clutch RBI, but a game-ending 5-4-3 double play would kill the rally before it could heat up.
The Bulls will now head West for a big challenge in Mid-American Conference play. Up next will be a road series against conference leader Central Michigan. The three-game series will begin Friday at 1 pm.