BUFFALO, NY– A four-run third inning by the Ohio Bobcats spoiled the series opener for the University at Buffalo baseball team (16-29, 8-11 MAC) as the visitors collected the 5-3 victory on Friday afternoon at Amherst Audobon Field.
After Charlie Sobieraski set the Bobcats down 1-2-3 in the opening inning, the UB offense was able to put a run up in the bottom half of the first. Alex Thrower led off the game with a bunt single before Phillip Tomasulo was hit by a pitch and Ben Haefner laid down the successful sacrifice bunt to give UB runners and second and third with one out. Vinny Mallaro then stepped in and delivered an RBI single to right center field to plate Thrower and give the Bulls the 1-0 lead. Chris Kwitzer then notched a single as his line drive struck the empire, giving UB the bases loaded with one out. The next two Buffalo batters weren't able to produce any runs as the Bulls had to settle with the 1-0 lead through the first inning.
UB loaded the bases once again in the bottom of the second inning but they left all three runners stranded for the second straight inning as Mallaro fouled out. The Bobcats were able to break the game open and take their first lead of the game in the third inning as they plated four runs to take the 4-1 lead. The Bobcats loaded the bases and Michael Klein delivered a bases clearing triple before Connor Callery singled to left to plate the fourth run of the inning, giving the visitors the 4-1 lead.
Buffalo wasted no time responding as Kwitzer led off the bottom of the third with a single and Kyle Brennan knocked him in with an RBI triple to dead center field. Connor Regan was then able to collect the RBI ground out to short to bring UB within one, 4-3.
Ohio was able to add another run in the top of the fourth inning as Mrosla connected on a solo home run to deep left field to make the score 5-3 in favor of the Bobcats.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, their offense stalled over the next five innings as they weren't able to record a hit and they were handed the 5-3 loss in the series opener.
Kwitzer finished off his afternoon with his 14th multi-hit game of the season as he went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Mallaro notched his team-leading 47th RBI of the season as he went 1-for-4 while Brennan went 1-for-4 with his second triple of the season, a RBI and a run scored. Thrower had a strong day at the top of the lineup as he went 1-for-3 with two walks and a run while Regan collected his seventh RBI of the season in the loss.
Sobieraski finished off his afternoon going 6.1 innings while allowing six hits, five runs and striking out four in the loss. Ben Vey came out of the bullpen and had a very effective outing as he went 2.2 innings and allowed just one hit and one strikeout as he made his team-leading 23rd appearance of the season.
The Bulls and Bobcats will return to Amherst Audobon Field tomorrow afternoon for the second game of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm as last week's MAC East Pitcher of the Week Shawn Dubin will take the mound for the Bulls.