BUFFALO, NY - Though the weather might not be welcoming, the Buffalo baseball team will be more than happy to take the field on Friday for its first game at Amherst Audubon Field for the 2012 season. The Bulls (7-12, 1-2 MAC) will play three games against Mid-American Conference West Division foe Western Michigan (11-10, 3-0 MAC). Due to inclement weather in the forecast, game one on Friday has been moved up to 1 pm.
On Wednesday, UB hit four home runs but could not scrape together enough runs and lost 8-6 to Big Four rival Canisius. Matt Pollock hit two solo home runs on the day, but the team only had eight total hits and one walk. The Broncos needed extra innings, but won its mid-week contest in a 10-inning, 3-2 win over Oakland. The weekend series will be the first between the cross-division teams since 2009, when Buffalo won two of the three games in the series.
"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," Head coach Ron 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."
Under second-year head coach Billy Gernon, the emphasis in Kalamazoo has been on pitching and defense. In his first season at the helm, Gernon's Bronco squad shaved over three and a half runs off the team ERA and had a 14-game improvement from the year before. The team's offensive focus has also shifted to the "small-ball" approach, with the team slugging only .374 and scoring just north of 5.5 runs per game. While the WMU pitching staff does not overpower the competition (striking out just 111 batters in 185.1 innings pitched), but instead puts the ball in play and leans on a strong defense behind them.
First pitch Friday is set for 1 pm. Live stats are available through BuffaloBulls.com.