HANOVER, MD - After a pair of disappointing starts to open the year, senior pitcher Cameron Copping was searching for a performance that would not only settle him down, but set a positive tone for the Buffalo pitching staff. He did that and more Saturday afternoon, striking out nine batters in six innings while allowing one lone run and two hits, leading the team to an 8-1 victory.
The Bulls (3-6) built its lead slowly but surely against the Eagles, posting a lone run in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. The scoring started on an odd note, with Dan Scahill reaching on an error by the left fielder and moving up to second on the same play. He then was advanced to third on a balk before being driven in by Tom Richards on a groundout. In the third, Mike Scarcello hit his team-leading fifth double of the season with one out, then moved over on a wild pitch before Matt Pollock lifted a fly ball to left field that he would tag up and score on.
In the fourth, the team manufactured a run thanks to a leadoff single by Scahill. Mike Burke bunted him over, and after a walk to Richards, River McWilliams split the defense with a double to left center field that would give the team a 3-0 lead. A Pollock home run to start off the fifth would cap the team's lead at 4-0, more than enough for a dialed-in Copping.
The second-year pitcher from Temple City, CA was literally unhittable through the first five innings, scattering only three walks and stranding three base runners while allowing zero hits in the first five innings of work. His only trouble would come in his sixth and final inning, when he allowed two hits - a double and a single - that would plate Coppin State's lone run of the afternoon. With his outstanding effort, Copping shed almost six whole runs off his season earned run average. The bullpen proved to be equally stout, with McWilliams and Crumb allowing three hits and one walk in the final three frames.
Buffalo's offense would make a curtain call in the ninth inning, tacking on four runs. Ryan Tulloch was hit by a pitch and moved over on a bunt. Pollock then scored him with a single to left field. Jason Kanzler followed with a single of his own before Tom Murphy launched a home run to left that would clear the bases.
Kanzler was a pest all day long for the Eagle pitching staff, reaching base on all five of his plate appearances. The junior outfielder had three hits and two walks. Murphy and Pollock were the top run producers, driving in three runs apiece. The Bulls will face Long Island University tomorrow for a noon first pitch.