Folk's Shutout Win Caps Successful Weekend
DAYTON, NY - Led by a career day from junior pitcher Cory Folk, the Buffalo baseball team capped a marathon Spring Break trip with a 4-0 shutout win over the Dayton Flyers (4-11) on Sunday morning.
Folk pitched the team's first complete game shutout since last May, when Cameron Copping threw a seven-hitter in a win over Bowling Green. Folk, a junior left hander, allowed just two hits over his nine innings of work, the fewest hits allowed in a nine-inning shutout since April 6, 2005, when three UB pitchers combined to one-hit rival Canisius.
He faced just three batters over the minimum and struck out three batters, and set the Flyers down in order in every inning of the game other than the third and eighth. Folk lowered his season earned run average over two and a half full runs as he secured his second win of the season.
With such a consistent presence on the hill, the UB offense scored right away and took the pressure off its starter. In the first, Jon Mestas led off and was hit by a pitch for the tenth time this season. He was followed by an infield single from Jason Kanzler, and an error by the Dayton third baseman would load the bases with just one out. A sacrifice fly from Mike Burke and an RBI single from Nick Sinay would put UB up 2-0 early in the game.
In the top of the fourth, the Bulls manufactured another run to extend the lead. Justin Gonzalez led off with a double, and was bunted over to third by Mike Scarcello. A single to left field from Jimmy Topps would bring in Gonzalez. In the eighth, Topps would again be the run producer, driving in Scarcello with two outs in the inning.
Dayton would threaten to score in the bottom of the eighth, but a dazzling play from Kanzler would snuff out the opportunity. After a leadoff walk, Dayton hit a fly ball to center that Kanzler was able to snare and then double up the runner trying to retreat to first. The Flyers would use a UB error and a single to put two runners on with two outs, but Folk would force a foul out to end the inning. The host Flyers would go quietly in the ninth, with three straight foul pop ups to the infield.
The Bulls have now wrapped up the major portion of its non-conference schedule, and with a 10-9 overall record, it enters the Mid-American Conference season with a record over .500 for the first time since the 2010 season, when it finished the early non-conference schedule with a 9-8 overall record.
Next up for the team will be its MAC opener against the Central Michigan Chippewas, held at Amherst Audubon Field. It will be the first time since the 2010 season that the Bulls open conference play at home. Last season, the Chips won two of three games in Mount Pleasant, as the teams combined to score 57 runs over the weekend.