BUFFALO, NY – Behind a big day at the plate by senior Vinny Mallaro, the University at Buffalo baseball team (9-16, 2-2 MAC) collected their second MAC win of the season on Saturday night as they downed the Northern Illinois Huskies, 6-3. Mallaro finished off his impressive game going 3-for-4 with a season-high four RBI in the win.
"This was a great win after a long week," stated head coach Ron Torgalski. "I wasn't sure how the guys were going to respond but I was happy that they stayed focused and played a solid nine innings. We got another great start from Shawn Dubin and Ben Vey did what he does and pitched three strong innings. Vinny Mallaro came up with some big hits today and hopefully we can carry this momentum over to tomorrow to pick up some more wins."
Buffalo wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the first inning as Alex Thrower legged out an infield hit to shortstop before stealing second base. After two straight outs, Mallaro dug in and delivered a RBI double into deep right center field to give UB the 1-0 lead after the first inning.
After a pair of scoreless innings, the Bulls added a run to their lead to take the 2-0 edge. Ben Haefner was hit by a pitch to open the inning before Chris Kwitzer recorded a single and Andrew Taft earned a walk to load the bases with two outs. Eddie Edwards III was able to use good patience at the plate and earned a walk and RBI to allow Haefner to score from third.
The Huskies were finally able to break through off of Shawn Dubin in the fifth inning as they plated three runs to take the 3-2 lead. After making quick work of the first two batters, Dubin walked back-to-back Huskies and Roderick Bynum delivered a double that scored two. Samuel Vega then singled to center to score the third NIU run of the inning.
UB didn't let the Huskies keep the lead for long as they responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth to regain the 4-3 lead. Thrower led off the inning with a walk and he came around to score on Brian Dudek's RBI double down the right field line. Mallaro then delivered a RBI single to left field to plate Dudek from second.
Dubin finished off his night with a quick sixth inning as he forced three straight fly outs to send UB to the seventh with the 4-3 lead.
After Ben Vey fought through the seventh without allowing a run, the Bulls added two insurance runs in the bottom half of the inning. Thrower was hit by a pitch and Dudek earned a walk before Mallaro once again delivered the big hit, this time a single to center field that plated both Thrower and Dudek to give UB the comfortable 6-3 lead.
Vey closed the door on his second save of the season in the ninth after allowing the first two batters to get on base. The junior then dug deep and collected a pop up, a strikeout and a fly out to right field to end the game and give UB the 6-3 win.
Dubin closed out his impressive outing on the mound going 6.0 innings while allowing five hits, three runs and striking out five batters in his third win of the season. Vey closed out his second save of the season as he went 3.0 innings and allowed just two hits while whiffing three NIU batters.
The three-hit effort by Mallaro was his fourth of the season as he also collected a season-high four RBI as he raised his batting average to .313 on the season. Brian Dudek had a strong day at the plate as he went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI while leadoff hitter Alex Thrower continued his strong play as he went 1-for-2 with three runs scored and a pair of walks in the win. Chris Kwitzer stayed hot at the plate as he went 2-for-4 as he raised his team-best batting average to .385 on the year.
The Bulls and Huskies will wrap up their three-game series tomorrow afternoon as they will play a doubleheader starting at 11:00 am in Rochester, NY at Monroe Community College. Charlie Sobieraski will pitch the first game of the doubleheader and Brent Cleland will pitch game two.