ST. BONAVENTURE, NY - The Buffalo baseball team (7-16) lost both of its games Tuesday to Big Four rival St. Bonaventure (12-11), dropping the first seven-inning game 7-6 after a ferocious comeback, and 8-4 in game two. Matt Pollock had five hits over the two games.
After poor weather forced the cancellation of Sunday's series finale against Western Michigan, the Bulls were eager to get back onto the field but ran into the Bonnies' top starter in Eddie Gray. Because Bona had no weekend games scheduled, Gray earned the start and had a strong six innings, allowing only two UB runs. The Bulls got on the board in the third inning after loading the bases with one out. Tom Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to left field, but that would be all the team could muster.
Trailing 5-1 in the fifth, the team got another run thanks to Jason Kanzler and Pollock. After Kanzler hit a one-out triple to the opposite field, Pollock converted with a single that cut the deficit to 5-2. Bonaventure added another run in the sixth, which would prove to be important due to a late push by the Bulls.
Andy Smietana led off the inning with a triple, chasing Gray from the game. Buffalo then got an RBI single from Kanzler and two more seeing-eye singles to load the bases. An inside pitch went just a bit too far inside and plunked Murphy to bring in Kanzler. Dan Scahill continued to cut into the Bona lead with a deep fly ball that came just a few feet shy of a bases-clearing home run. Instead, the team settled for a sac fly that brought the score to 6-5 with only one out and two runners still on base. A walk to Mike Burke loaded the bases again, and pinch hitter Thomas Richards lifted a ball to the outfield that was caught. Jon Mestas tagged up from third base and beat the throw to home that would tie up the game. The Bonnies would get the walk-off win in the bottom of the eighth on a lead-off home run.
In game two, the Bonnies ran out to an 8-1 lead after the first five innings thanks to control issues by the Buffalo pitching staff, who gave up seven walks in the game to allow all the SBU runs to be scored on just six hits.
The Bulls got a run in the second on an RBI double from Smietana, then the bats went silent, getting only three hits from the third to the fifth innings before mounting another comeback in the sixth.
After singles from Murphy and Burke, Richards hit a double to right center field that would plate both runners. Pollock would add a solo home run in the seventh inning, but the Bulls would be unable to emerge from the early deficit.
Next up will be the team's first series of the year against a Mid-American Conference East Division foe, taking on Kent State. Game one of the weekend series will begin Friday with a 3 pm first pitch.