KENT, OH – Behind a stellar day on the mound by junior right-handed pitcher Charlie Sobieraski, the University at Buffalo baseball team (8-16, 1-2 MAC) was able to collect a dominant 9-2 victory on the road at Kent State in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. Sobieraski went 7.0 innings and allowed just three hits and one run while striking out a season-best seven batters. The Golden Flashes came back and won game two by the score of 14-0 to win the three-game series, 2-1.
GAME ONE – BUFFALO 9, Kent State 2
Buffalo was able to get on the board first in the third inning after starting pitcher Charlie Sobieraski made quick work of the Flashes with four strikeouts through two innings. Alex Thrower earned a walk and advanced to third on a Ben Haefner single to center before Vinny Mallaro notched his 14th RBI of the season as he legged out an infield single to plate Thrower.
The Golden Flashes were finally able to record their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning as Sam Hurt singled to center field to plate Dylan Rosa and tie the game, 1-1. Sobieraski was able to refocus and get the final two outs of the inning to move onto the fifth tied.
UB was able to regain the lead in the fifth inning as Phillip Tomasulo led off the inning with a double and Thrower walked. Dudek then reached on an error by the pitcher to load the bases full of Bulls. Haefner was able to produce his team-best 20th RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to deep center to make it 2-1 in favor of UB.
After a quick bottom half of the fifth, the Bulls blew the game open in the top of the sixth inning as they were able to score six runs and make the score 8-1. Chris Kwitzer led off the inning with a double before UB loaded the bases with no outs. Tomasulo picked up a RBI and reached base on a fielder's choice before Thrower earned a walk to score another run. Dudek then dug in and delivered the big blow, a bases clearing 3-RBI double before Haefner singled to left to score the sixth run of the inning and give UB the dominant 8-1 lead.
Sobieraski continued to roll on the mound in the seventh inning as he was able to go 1-2-3 before being replaced by Ben Vey on the mound for the final two innings. The Flashes were able to get one run off of Vey in the eighth inning before the junior focused in and got the final two outs of the inning to send the game to the ninth with UB leading 8-2.
In the top of the ninth inning, Kwitzer capped his outstanding day at the plate with his second homer of the season, a solo shot, to give UB the dominant 9-2 lead. Vey closed the door on the Flashes in the ninth as UB won the first game of the doubleheader.
Sobieraski had his best outing of the season on Sunday as he went 7.0 innings and allowed just three hits and one run while striking out a season-high seven batters. The junior kept the Flashes off balance all afternoon as he only walked two batters as he collected his first win of the season. Vey closed out the win going 2.0 innings while allowing two hits and one run as he struck out two batters.
Kwitzer returned to the lineup for the first time in two weeks and made a huge impact as he finished off the day going 3-for-5 with a home run, double, two runs and a RBI as he raised his team-best batting average to .409. Dudek continued to swing a good bat as he finished his day going 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored while Haefner went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the victory. Thrower continued to be a valuable leadoff hitter as he earned four walks while scoring two runs and notching one RBI.
GAME TWO – BUFFALO 0, Kent State 14
After a scoreless first inning by the Bulls, the Golden Flashes were able to put the game away in the bottom half of the inning. The Kent State offense produced nine runs in the first inning, including a grand slam to force the Bulls to make a pitching change in the opening inning.
Kent State continued to add runs as they added a pair of runs in the second and third innings before closing out the scoring for the day in the fourth inning as they added one run to make it 14-0 in favor of the home team.
Mallaro had a solid day at the plate in game two as he went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks while Edwards III continued to swing a hot bat as he went 1-for-3. Haefner went 1-for-4 as the Bulls offense could only produce four runs in game two.
Shawn Dubin had a rough day on the mound as he went just 0.2 innings and allowed nine earned runs in the loss. Garrett Simmons went 2.0 innings and allowed just two hits and one unearned run while Logan Harasta pitched a scoreless ninth inning while striking out one batter in the loss.
Buffalo will return to the diamond next weekend as they welcome the Northern Illinois Huskies to Western New York for a three-game MAC series. The first game of the series will take place Friday at 3pm as Alec Tuohy will take the mound for the Bulls.