BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York baseball team (3-7) fell on Wednesday night by the score of 13-6 to crosstown rival Canisius at the Demske Sports Complex.
UB opened up the scoring early on as they were able to cross three batters across home plate to take the early lead. Nick Sinay led off the game with a hit by pitch, his first of three for the game, and then stole second base to get into scoring position. After a sacrifice fly from Brian Dudek advanced Sinay to third, Bobby Sheppard reached on an error by the shortstop and Sinay scored. Sheppard then stole second base and came home on a Ben Vey single to left field. After Chris Kwitzer reached on another error, Mike Abrunzo hit a solid single to right field to score Sheppard and give UB the early 3-0 lead.
After cruising through the first inning, UB starting pitcher Logan Harasta ran into trouble in the second inning and allowed six runs to the hot Canisius bats.
Freshman Tom Taplin entered the game in relief in the third inning and did a nice job but allowed the Golden Griffins to score one run in the third. In the fourth, UB was able to chip away at the Canisius lead as Justin Gonzalez started off the inning with a solid single to right field. Sinay was hit by another pitch to put two runners on before Dudek reached on an error by the shortstop. Sheppard dug in and grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop to score Gonzalez from third, making the score 7-4 in favor of the home team.
After a scoreless fifth, UB drew closer as Mitchell Machi earned a walk and then was moved over to second base after a sacrifice bunt from Sinay. Tanner Robinson then moved Machi over to third with a ground ball and then Sheppard hit a single to right field to score Machi, making the score 7-5.
Canisius responded quickly in the bottom of the sixth as they notched three more runs off of Taplin. The Golden Griffs scored three runs on two hits and one error in the inning.
The Bulls scored their final run of the game in the eighth inning as Sinay singled before Robinson recorded a double, first of the season, to deep right center field to move Sinay to third. After a Sheppard walk loaded the bases for UB, Vey grounded into a double play and Sinay crossed home.
Canisius added three runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn the 13-6 victory. Taplin finished off his relief appearance going 4.0 innings while giving up three hits and one earned run and striking out two. At the plate, Gonzalez and Vey led the way with two hits apiece while Sinay earned three HBP's, two runs, one hit and one stolen base in the loss. Sheppard finished the game with a career-best three RBI effort for UB.
The Bulls will return to the diamond on Friday as they will travel to take on the Houston Cougars on the road at 7:30 pm. The Bulls will then play the Cougars on Saturday at 7:30 pm and wrap up the series on Sunday at 12:00 pm.