MOUNT PLEASANT, MI - After holding off a late rally from Central Michigan not 24 hours ago, the Buffalo Bulls could not duplicate the outcome, losing for the sixth time this season on the final at-bat and falling 14-13 Sunday afternoon to the Chippewas. There were plenty of bright spots on offense, with the team raking 19 hits and seven players posting two hits or more, but the defense committed four errors that gave the home team enough extra at bats to stage the come-from-behind win.
Leading 13-10 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mike Burke came in for the save attempt and struck out the first batter. The Chips got a single, but Burke was able to induce a ground ball for the possible game-ending double play in the next at bat. It was botched and the inning continued with both runners safely on base. The very next pitch was punched through the left side to make the score 13-11. Another single would load up the bases with still one out, and two more singles would bring in the final three runs to give CMU the win.
Down early again to start the game, Buffalo scored six runs on seven hits in the third inning to start a stretch that would see the team bat around in the order. Jason Kanzler led off with a walk but was caught stealing second base. That would be the last of the team's misfortune in the inning, as seven of the next UB players to stride to the plate would convert, highlighted by RBI singles from Tom Murphy, Dan Scahill, River McWilliams and Jordan Camp, and a two-run double by Mike Scarcello.
Another trio of runs would come in the very next inning. After a leadoff double from Matt Pollock, the Bulls drew a pair of walks to load the bases. Scahill hit a sharp line drive to the shortstop that was caught, and Murphy was thrown out after straying too far off first base. Despite the double play, Burke would score two runs on a double to right center field, and a McWilliams double would then score Burke. In the fifth, the Bulls would load the bases again, and Murphy hit a double that would score three runs and stake the team to a 12-4 lead.
Central Michigan scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth, and added a run in the sixth to make the score 12-10. Buffalo's final run would come in the eighth thanks to a lead-off double from Jon Mestas and a RBI single by Scahill.
Seven of the Chippewas total runs were unearned thanks to a quartet of Buffalo errors, the most the team has committed all season. Burke took the loss just a day after earning his first career save in the team's 11-10 win. Starter Cory Folk lasted three innings and allowed four runs.
Now 7-11 (1-2 MAC), Buffalo has a Wednesday game down the road at Canisius before getting its first opportunity of the season to play at home. UB will welcome in Western Michigan for a weekend conference series. Game one at Amherst Audubon Field will begin at 3 pm Friday.