Edwards' Gem Leads Buffalo to Doubleheader Split
BUFFALO, NY - Spurred on by a complete-game effort from Josh Edwards, the Buffalo baseball team snapped its 17-game losing streak with a 2-1 win Saturday afternoon against Akron. It was game one of a doubleheader, with the Zips taking the second game 6-0.
Edwards earned his second win of the season by scattering five hits over the nine innings, walking only one batter and striking out two with his 118 total pitches. The Buffalo offense used a strong first inning to give Edwards his cushion. After the first two batters struck out on three straight pitches, Tom Murphy stepped up and crushed the first pitch he saw over the wall in centerfield for a solo shot. Cleanup hitter Alex Baldock followed that with a double to right field and Jordan Camp came up one batter later and followed suit, hitting a sharp grounder right over first base to score Baldock.
Little did both teams know, but that two-out RBI ended up representing the winning run, as Edwards was never really in major trouble with the Zips aside from the third inning, when the first two batter reached. A fly out and a double play started by third baseman River McWilliams got the team out of the jam. The score held at 2-0 until the seventh inning, when a leadoff double was converted to a run thanks to a bunt and sacrifice fly. That would be all the scoring for game one, as the Zips recorded only one more hit for the rest of the game after the leadoff double in the seventh.
"Josh stepped up big, and to break our losing streak at home was great," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "He battled for nine innings, made big pitches when he needed to and I thought we played good defense behind him. That's what we need to do when Josh pitches because he pitches to contact and if you make plays he's going to have success."
In game two, it was Akron starter Alex Loftin's turn to control the game. The Bulls were unable to get the key hit when necessary, especially in the fourth inning following a leadoff double from Alex Baldock. Two straight outs were recorded right after and a River McWilliams single was not deep enough to score the run. That would represent the best opportunity of the day for UB. In the seventh, two runners reached but were stranded, as was the case in the eighth.
Starting pitcher Kevin Crumb was the hard-luck loser in game two, giving up four earned runs on eight hits and four walks, but matching a season-high of seven strikeouts. Kevin Hughes allowed two runs in his 2.2 innings of relief.
Buffalo (8-29, 1-15 MAC) will look for its first series win of the conference season tomorrow, with a 1 pm first pitch scheduled against the Zips (10-30).