BUFFALO, NY - Still in search of its first true home game of the season, the Buffalo baseball team will play a doubleheader against Big Four rival Canisius before heading to MAC West division foe Toledo for a weekend series.
The Wednesday doubleheader will begin at 2 pm and, though it will be held at Canisius' Demske Sports Complex, Buffalo will be the home team for both games. In the last meeting, the Golden Griffs used a two-run walk off home run to beat Buffalo 5-4 in ten innings. The loss spoiled a terrific outing from freshman Cory Folk, who struck out six in eight innings while allowing only four hits. After the game was tied 3-3 after nine innings, the Bulls plated a run in the top of the tenth before Canisius got a two-out home run to end it.
After that, the team will head west for a Friday to Sunday series against the Rockets (11-15). The team has one of the best pitching staffs in the conference, posting a 3.72 team earned run average, but the offense has been anemic in the early going, batting only .237 with five home runs through 26 games as a team. Ben Hammer leads the team with a .333 batting average and 12 walks in his 24 starts, but the main power source has been Dan Sherwood, who has three home runs and 12 runs batted in over his 20 starts. He has been all-or-nothing, though, holding a batting average of just .205.
On the mound, the Rockets have two aces who have buoyed the team over the first months of the season. Mike Hamann has a sparkling 1.95 ERA in his seven starts, but only a 1-2 record to show for it. Fellow starter Kyle Shaw leads the team with a 3-1 record and has a solid 3.40 ERA. In the bullpen, Matt Zahel has done his best to shut the door on the opposition, with seven saves and a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings of work.
Game one's first pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3:05 pm, weather permitting, with games on Saturday and Sunday scheduled for 1:05 pm. Live stats will be available online.