KALAMAZOO, MI – The University at Buffalo baseball team (17-34, 8-16 MAC) dropped a pair of Mid-American Conference games to the Western Michigan Broncos on Saturday afternoon. The Bulls fell 7-2 in the first game of the afternoon and 7-3 in the second game as UB wasn't able to secure a spot in the upcoming MAC Tournament.
GAME ONE – Western Michigan 7, BUFFALO 2
The Broncos wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning after they set the Bulls down in order to open the game. After a single and a walk, Nate Grys doubled to deep left center to plate a pair of runs and give the home team the 2-0 lead early on.
Buffalo was able to get a run back in the top of the second inning after loading the bases with no outs. Vinny Mallaro opened the inning with a walk before Chris Kwitzer and Kyle Brennan each singled to give UB the bases loaded chance. Brian Dudek then stepped in and delivered an RBI single to right field to plate Mallaro and cut the score to 2-1. The UB offense then sputtered as they notched three straight outs to end the bases loaded threat.
After a scoreless third inning, the Broncos added another run in the bottom of the fourth as Nick Vogelmeir singled through the left side to plate Jesse Forestell from third base.
Owning the 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Broncos decided to put the game out of reach as they plated four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the 7-1 lead. The Broncos notched four singles and a double in the inning to plate four runners and take complete control of the game.
After a lengthy rain delay, the Bulls were able to score a run in the ninth inning as Kwitzer sent an RBI single into right field to score Alex Thrower from second base and make the final score 7-2 in favor of the Broncos.
Phillip Tomasulo led the way for the Buffalo offense as he finished off his game going 3-for-4 while Kwitzer went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the loss. Kyle Brennan also notched a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-4 while Dudek went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
Ben Vey pitched a perfect 2.0 innings in relief after the long rain delay as he allowed just two hits and struck out a pair.
GAME TWO – Western Michigan 7, BUFFALO 3
The Western Michigan Broncos jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead over the Bulls in the second game of the doubleheader and never looked back on Saturday afternoon. After scoring a run in the first, the Broncos put five runs on the board in the second inning to take the commanding 6-0 lead. Western Michigan was able to record a pair of RBI singles and an RBI double to plate five runs in the inning.
Buffalo cut into the lead in the fourth inning as Kyle Brennan and Brian Dudek each notched singles before Alex Thrower collected an RBI single to center field to score Brennan from second. The Brennan run cut the Western Michigan lead to 6-1.
After the Broncos responded with a run in the bottom of the fourth, UB was able to plate a run in the fifth to make it 7-2 in favor of the home team. Ben Haefner connected on a solo home run, his fourth of the season, to deep right field to draw the Bulls within five.
UB was able to plate a run in the seventh, and final inning, as Haefner and Chris Kwitzer singled to open the inning before Dudek delivered another RBI single to left center to score Haefner and make the score 7-3 in favor of the Broncos.
After the bottom of the seventh inning, the game was called due to weather as the Broncos secured the series sweep with the 7-3 victory.
Haefner finished off his strong game going 2-for-3 with a home run, a RBI, two runs and a hit by pitch while Dudek was able to go 3-for-3 with a RBI as he finished out his UB career with a career-best .324 batting average on the season. Thrower closed out his UB career going 2-for-4 with a RBI while Brennan went 2-for-4 with a run scored in his final game behind the plate for the Bulls.
With the losses, the Bulls closed out the season with a 17-34 overall record to go along with an 8-16 MAC mark.