Bulls bounce back from first loss to go 3-1 at VMI

By JORDAN GROSSMAN
On March 2, 2014

  • Senior pitcher Mike Burke pitched eight innings, gave up one earned run and struck out nine batters in the Bulls’ 5-3 win over Maryland Eastern Shore Sunday. Nick Fischetti, The Spectrum

In the midst of its strongest start in program history, the baseball team found itself trailing for the first time this season Friday night. The Bulls were matching up against Virginia Military Institute's Reed Garrett - the reigning National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association national pitcher of the week.

The Bulls didn't have any answers for Garrett or the rest of the Keydets' staff on Friday, mustering just two hits. But that was about the only thing that didn't go the Bulls' way this weekend as they left Lexington, Va., with a 3-1 record.

Senior shortstop Mike Scarcello finished the Bulls' weekend with a walk-off two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th on Sunday.

Buffalo has now won six of its first seven games, its best start in school history.

The Bulls (6-1) recorded two victories against Maryland Eastern Shore (0-8) on Friday and Sunday, and went 1-1 against VMI (7-3) on Friday and Saturday.

In the Bulls' first extra-inning game of the season Sunday morning, a sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Jimmy Topps tied the game at three in the top of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the tenth inning, Scarcello smacked the game winning two-run home run over the left field wall, giving the team a 5-3 victory.

"We went into extra innings and won on a walk-off," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "It doesn't get any better than that."

The Bulls opened the weekend with a dominating 11-1 win over UMES on Friday afternoon. Senior pitcher Kevin Hughes earned the win, pitching six innings while allowing only one earned run.

Topps led the offense with a three-RBI performance. Sophomore first baseman Tyler Mautner also contributed three RBIs.

The Bulls met Garrett in the second game of the day. Despite the lack of offense, junior pitcher Mike McGee pitched a stellar game, allowing two earned runs with seven strikeouts in six innings of work.

"VMI is a good team. It gave us a good test for upcoming MAC games," Torgalski said. "We're focused on winning one game at a time."

After losing its first game to VMI, the team rebounded on Saturday with a 6-5 win. Senior outfielder Matt Pollock had two hits and two runs. Junior pitcher Anthony Magovney threw seven innings and gave up two runs to earn his second win of the season.

"I don't think the baseball program has ever started 6-1," Torgalski said. "Great teams lose games as well. We have a great core of players and this weekend shows we can win close games and play in tight situations."

The team hopes to continue its hot start to the season when it travels to Athens, Ga., to play Georgia, Western Carolina and North Florida next weekend. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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