NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY - The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York baseball team (12-26, 5-13 MAC) split a Tuesday afternoon doubleheader on the road at Niagara. The Bulls game one by the score of 13-12 before dropping game two, 7-1.
GAME ONE - BUFFALO 13, Niagara 12
In game one of the doubleheader, the Bulls offense led the way as all nine batters recorded one hit and at least one run. Vinny Mallaro and Ben Vey each recorded a team-high three RBI's in the 13-12 victory for the Bulls.
Niagara opened up the scoring in the second inning as they were able to cross four runners across home plate to take the 4-0 lead. UB didn't let the game get away that easy as they responded in the third inning with five runs of their own.
Tyler Utz and Bobby Sheppard walked then Ben Haefner singled to load the bases for freshman Charlie Sobieraski. Sobieraski responded with a hard hit single to center field to score two runs. Ben Vey then stepped in and crushed his first career homer to deep left field, a three-run shot.
After a scoreless bottom of the third inning, the UB offense erupted for seven runs in the top of the 4th to take the commanding 12-4 lead. Brian Dudek started the inning off with a single and then ended up on third after an error and a balk from the pitcher before Nick Sinay doubled to center field to score Dudek from third. Bobby Sheppard then forced a throwing error that scored Sinay. After a Sobieraski walk loaded the bases, Mallaro hit a double to the wall in center to clear the bases. Mitchell Machi then dug in and knocked his second homer of the season over the right field wall, a two-run shot.
In the bottom of the 4th the Purple Eagles chased UB starter Logan Harasta from the mound as they notched five runs. Alec Tuohy then replaced Harasta and Utz finished the inning as he threw out the attempted base stealer.
The Bulls finished off their scoring in the fifth inning as Utz started it up with a single to right field. Utz then came around to score on a Sheppard single to center field, making the score 13-9. Niagara scored two runs in the bottom half of the inning to chase Tuohy from the game.
Ben Hartz entered the game in the sixth and shut the door on the Purple Eagles, getting three quick outs. In the seventh, Hartz allowed one run before forcing a fly out to center field to earn his second save of the season. Hartz went 2.0 innings while allowing just two hits and one unearned run.
Haefner finished off his impressive game going 1-for-2 from the plate with three walks while notching two runs scored. Sobieraski finished off his game going 1-for-3 with two RBI's and two runs scored while Sinay extended his reaching base streak to 24 straight games.
GAME TWO - BUFFALO 1, Niagara 7
The UB bats went quiet in game two against Niagara as the Bulls were only able to collect four hits through seven innings of play. Sinay led the way in the second game as he went 2-for-3 from the plate with a pair of singles.
The Bulls scored their lone run in the third inning as Utz started the rally off with a walk. Sinay then earned a bunt single and Haefner earned a walk to load the bases. Sheppard grounded into a double play and Utz scored on the play to bring UB within 2-1.
The Purple Eagles took over the game in the bottom of the third inning as they scored two more runs to make the score 4-1. Niagara then notched two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to take the 7-1 victory.
With his first hit of the contest, Sinay extended his reaching base streak to 25 games on the season. Haefner and Machi each recorded a hit in the loss for the Bulls.
UB returns home on Friday afternoon as they welcome Kent State for a three-game home MAC series. The game on Friday starts at 3:00 pm.