AKRON, OH - The University at Buffalo, The State University of New York baseball team (15-30, 7-16 MAC) scored six straight runs to overcome an early 5-0 deficit and defeat the Akron Zips on Saturday afternoon, 6-5. Brian Dudek drove in the game-winning run in the eighth inning as he hit an RBI single that scored Nick Sinay from second base.
Trailing 5-0 in the third inning and their season on the line, the UB offense delivered down the stretch of the game to secure the win, scoring the final six runs of the game to earn their seventh MAC victory of the season.
The Bulls opened their scoring in the third inning as Mike Abrunzo and Justin Gonzalez recorded back-to-back singles to open the inning followed by Sinay's 21st hit by pitch of the season to load the bases for UB. Dudek then earned a walk to score a run and Bobby Sheppard hit into a fielder's choice to score another run. Charlie Sobieraski then connected on a single to center to score the Bulls third run of the inning.
UB inched closer in the seventh inning as they scored one run to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Zips. Dudek opened the inning with a bunt single before moving into scoring position on a Sheppard single to center. After a fly out by Sobieraski, Chris Kwitzer dug in and hit a sharp single to center field to score Dudek.
The Bulls then took the lead in the eighth inning and never looked back as they were able to score two more unanswered runs in the inning, both with two outs. Gonzalez opened with a single and then came around to score on a Sinay single in the next at bat. The Zips right fielder threw the ball away, allowing Gonzalez to come around and score and let Sinay move over to second base. Dudek then stepped in and hit a game-winning single to score Sinay and keep the Bulls season alive.
After taking the lead, Mike Kaelin entered in the eighth inning to get the last out of the inning, a strikeout. Kaelin took the mound in the ninth with one goal in mind, closing the door on the Zips comeback efforts and he did just that, striking out a pair of batters en route to his fifth save of the season.
UB starter Anthony Magovney struggled early on for the Bulls, allowing five runs through two innings, but once he settled in he pitched well for Buffalo. Magovney earned his third win of the season going seven innings while allowing nine hits, four earned runs and striking out four batters. Kaelin finished off his fifth save of the season with three strikeouts in four batters faced, returning to his unhittable form.
Offensively the Bulls were led by Dudek who finished off his afternoon going 2-for-4 with two RBI's and one run scored. Gonzalez finished his game going 2-for-3 with two runs while Sheppard, Sobieraski and Kwitzer each finished with one hit and one RBI in the victory.
The two teams will matchup again on Sunday afternoon in the rubber match of the three-game set. The game will be played at 12:00 pm due to poor afternoon weather conditions.