Power-Hitting Bulls Unable to Complete Comeback at Canisius
BUFFALO, NY - Despite hitting four home runs, the Buffalo baseball team (7-12) could not scrape together enough runs and lost 8-6 to Big Four rival Canisius (13-13) Wednesday afternoon. Matt Pollock hit two solo home runs on the day, but the team only had eight total hits and one walk.
The Griffs took a 2-0 lead into the third inning before the Bulls used a pair of long balls to even up the score. Ryan Tulloch took the first pitch he saw and sent it ricocheting off the center field scoreboard to get the team's scoring started. Two batters later, Pollock would also victimize the Demske Complex's scoreboards with a solo shot of his own to left field. A wild pitch and error by the Buffalo defense gave Canisius the lead in the bottom of the inning, and the Bulls would play behind the rest of the way.
Now in the sixth inning, Buffalo found itself behind 6-2. After the first two batters were retired, Tom Murphy punched a laser through the left side of the infield to keep the inning alive. Dan Scahill followed with a dribbling grounder to shortstop that he was able to beat out. His hustle would prove to be paramount, as Mike Burke strode to the plate and punched a three-run home run to the opposite field on the very next pitch to make it a 6-5 game.
Buffalo's best chance to complete its comeback would come in the eighth inning. Pollock would lead off with his second home run of the day to bring the score to 8-6, and Jon Mestas drew a walk before another single from Murphy to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After a Scahill strikeout looking, Burke rolled a 0-1 pitch over into a 4-6-3 double play to bring a frustratingly abrupt end to the inning.
Despite the result, head coach Ron Torgalski was pleased with the production of his junior left fielder.
"Matt played regularly last year for the first time and there were growing pains with that," Torgalski said about Pollock's solid season thus far. "He's a strong kid and he's not going to get overpowered by anybody, and I think he's been doing a terrific job since we've moved him to the top of the order. He's making things happen for us, and that's what we want."
Next up for the team will be its long-awaited home opener. After 19 games on the road, the team will return to Amherst Audubon Field for a weekend series against Mid-American Conference Western Division opponent Western Michigan. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 pm. This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the 2009 season.
"This is a huge weekend for us. Our first home game, and a chance to maybe get a couple (wins) and get ourselves right in the thick of things," Torgalski said. "It will be good to get on our field - we've spent more nights in hotels than we have in our own beds for the last month. I know they're excited and I'm excited."