LEXINGTON, VA - Spurred on by a strong pitching performance from Cory Folk, and two high-powered innings by the offense, the Buffalo baseball team (3-3) cruised past VMI (1-5) Sunday afternoon, avenging a loss less than 24 hours earlier to the Keydets. Jason Kanzler hit his third home run and extended his hitting streak to 20 games in the process.
With the host Keydets holding a 1-0 lead through the first four complete innings, the Bulls were held to just one hit and three base runners total in that span. That would all be remedied in the fifth inning, though, when UB posted five runs.
After a walk and an error put runners at first and second, a second walk would load up the bases. Jon Mestas continued to build on a strong weekend with a two-run single down the left field line. He would be driven in immediately by Kanzler, who pulled his third home run of the weekend over the left field wall to make it a 5-0 game. Mestas would drive in another run in the sixth inning on a groundout.
The Keydets were stifled throughout the game by Folk, who was not flashy but was confident in his defense. The junior left after six full innings with only two strikeouts, but pitched to contact and would scatter five hits along the way. His only run allowed would come in the third inning.
Zach Stephens would come into the game to relieve Folk and started strong, retiring the side in the seventh and pitching out of a major jams in the eighth and ninth with minor harm taken. He allowed just one earned run and struck out two while walking none and allowing four hits.
With the score at 6-2 heading to the ninth, the Bulls played solid, fundamental small-ball to put up four more runs on just four hits. Mestas led off with a single and moved over on a wild pitch. Kanzler would bring him in on a double, and Kanzler would take third on a seeing-eye single from Alex Baldock. Another walk loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly by Michael Scarcello drove in one. Mike Burke hugged the left field line for a two-run single to cap the team's scoring for the game.
Along with Kanzler, freshman Kyle Brennan and junior Jimmy Topps recorded two hits apiece. Though the calendar might show that the weekend is over, the team will stay in Lexington for one more game tomorrow. With a win, the Bulls will go over .500 for the first time since March 10, 2010.