BUFFALO, NY - For the third straight game this weekend, the Bulls (12-27, 5-11 MAC) ran out to a quick lead on Sunday, but two defensive errors led to four unearned runs and allowed the Miami (OH) Redhawks (22-23, 7-11 MAC) to come from behind and spoil the home team's attempt at a series sweep, winning 6-5.
In the first inning, the leadoff batter for Miami reached on an error and would advance to third on a single off of UB starter Mike Burke. After allowing a sacrifice fly to bring in the runner, Burke would settle down and escape the inning without further harm.
The offense would pick up its starter in the bottom of the first, starting with a leadoff double by Matt Pollock. Two batters later, Dan Scahill lifted a fly ball to right field, but the outfielder could not pick the ball out in the cloudless sky and it fell harmlessly, with Scahill winding up on second and Pollock on third. A sacrifice fly from Tom Murphy evened the score, and the team would run out to the lead thanks to a searing line drive home run to right center field by Thomas Richards.
Another run would come in the second inning after a single from Mike Scarcello. After the sophomore stole second, he would come in and score on a triple from Jason Kanzler. The Bulls would have a handful of other opportunities to score, but were held off the board until the ninth inning.
Burke ran into trouble in the fifth inning, allowing a leadoff triple. He managed to work around it and get two quick outs, but with a chance to get out of the inning there was another error, bringing in the run and extending the fateful inning just one extra batter. That would be all Miami would need, as Kevin Bower hit a home run to right field to tie the score at 4-4. The Redhawks would add a run in the seventh to take the lead.
The Bulls threatened in the eighth after a double from Murphy to lead off the inning. A walk to Richards put a pair of runners on with still no outs, but a failed attempt to bunt the runners over and two more quick outs stifled the rally attempt.
Miami would score another two-out run in the top of the ninth, and it would prove to be vital. In the bottom of the ninth, Buffalo put runners on first and third with only one out, and Scahill would provide a clutch single through the left side to bring in Pollock. Needing only a hit to tie the game, UB could not convert.
Next up will be a pair of mid-week games at Niagara before continuing a push towards the Mid-American Conference tournament with three games over the weekend at Toledo.