HUNTSVILLE, TX – The University at Buffalo baseball team (6-14, 0-0 MAC) was able to collect the series winning victory on Saturday afternoon on the road at Sam Houston State, 10-4. The Bulls collected a pair of wins on the weekend against one of the hottest teams in the country as the Bearkats entered the weekend winning 14 of their last 15 games. UB also handed the Bearkats just their seventh and eighth home losses in their last 38 games at Don Sanders Stadium.
"This was an outstanding series win against a top-20 team," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "We responded with five runs in the first inning after yesterday's loss. We had tremendous energy and effort all weekend. This was a great way to end this 10-day road trip."
The Buffalo offense had their best inning of the season in the top of the first as they were able to bat around while collecting six hits and five runs. The five runs scored against Sam Houston State in the opening inning are the most runs allowed in an inning this season by the Bearkats.
After Alex Thrower led off the game with a walk, Brian Dudek singled to right field and Ben Haefner opened the scoring with a single to center field. Vinny Mallaro then singled to center field to score Dudek and Kyle Brennan grounded into a fielder's choice to plate Haefner. After a single by Connor Regan, Eddie Edwards III and Phillip Tomasulo notched back-to-back singles to give the Bulls the 5-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first.
After a scoreless second inning, the Bulls added a run to their lead to make it 6-0. Brennan earned an infield single and Jeff Palczewski was hit by a pitch before Regan flew out to deep right field to move Brennan over to third. Edwards III then stepped in and delivered his second RBI single of the game to center field to score the UB catcher from third and give the Bulls the six-run lead.
The Bearkats were able to break through with their first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning as they recorded a triple to deep right center field before a ground out to Haefner at shortstop allowed the runner to score from third. Dubin then locked back in and struck out a pair of batters to send the game to the sixth inning with UB leading 6-1.
Sam Houston threatened to cut into the UB lead in the bottom of the sixth inning as they earned a pair of walks to give them two on with one out. Dubin was then able to force a groundout to third before a Buffalo error allowed runners to move up to second and third with two outs. The UB started then dug deep and forced a ground out to second base to get the Bulls out of the jam.
The home team threatened again in the bottom of the seventh inning as they loaded the bases with one out to force the Bulls to replace Dubin with Ben Vey. The righty came in and forced back-to-back ground outs to second base to get out of the inning by allowing just one run, sending the game to the eighth with UB leading 6-2.
Buffalo was able to extend their lead out to 9-2 in the eighth inning as they plated three runs. Andrew Taft started the inning with a pinch hit double to left field before a pair of sacrifice bunts were mishandled by the Bearkats to give UB the bases loaded with no outs. Thrower then extended his team-best hitting streak to seven straight games with a two-RBI single to right field. Dudek then dug in and notched a sacrifice fly to score Tomasulo from third.
The Bearkats tried to make things interesting in the bottom of the eighth inning as they loaded the bases with no outs. After a pair of singles to center scored two runs, Dudek made a pair of nice plays by cutting runners off at home plate with the fielder's choices. Vey then forced a foul out to Dudek at third as the Bulls and Bearkats headed to the final inning with UB leading 9-4.
Mallaro led off the ninth with a single before a pair of walks allowed UB to load the bases with just one out. Edwards III stepped up to the dish and delivered a sacrifice fly to score Brennan from third base, his career-best third RBI of the game, to give UB the 10-4 lead and eventual win.
Dubin had another strong start on the mound for the Bulls on Saturday as he went 6.1 innings while allowing just four hits, two earned runs and striking out two batters in his second win of the season. The junior has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his six starts on the season. He now owns a 2-1 record to go along with a team-best 2.53 ERA. Vey went 2.2 innings in relief and allowed five hits and two runs in the win.
Edwards III had a career day at the plate for the Bulls on Saturday as he was able to go 2-for-5 with a career-high three RBI and a run. Thrower extended his hitting streak to seven straight going 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run while Tomasulo notched his first career three-hit game as he went 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run as he extended his hitting streak to five straight.
Haefner was able to go 1-for-5 with a RBI and run while reaching base for the 20th straight game to start the season. Brennan went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and a RBI as he has now reached base safely in 18 straight games while Dudek's 1-for-4 effort was good enough to see him reach base safely in 18 straight games as well.
The Bulls will return to the diamond on Tuesday afternoon as they head to St. Bonaventure for a doubleheader against the Bonnies. Game one will be at 1:00 pm followed by game two around 3:30 pm.