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Thursday, May 30, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Buffalo's home-opener not so homey

The baseball team played its first Mid-American Conference game of the season in less than favorable conditions. The team aimed to get out of the box quickly against a conference foe in hopes of sending a message to the rest of the MAC.
Buffalo (10-10, 1-2 MAC) found some success but fell short in the end against Eastern Michigan (10-14, 2-1 MAC), dropping two out of three games over the weekend. Due to unfavorable conditions at the Bulls' home field, all of the games took place in St. Bonaventure's Fred Handler Park.
The Bulls won the first game, 5-2, while the Eagles took the last two games in convincing fashion. EMU took the second part of the Saturday doubleheader, 7-2, and beat Buffalo 4-1 on Sunday.
"Offensively we didn't produce," said manager Ron Torgalski. "Eight runs in three games... is not going to cut it."
Buffalo was the first team on the scoreboard in Saturday's first game. In the bottom of the second inning, senior center fielder Adam Skonieczki hit a single towards left field to give the Bulls something to work with. Senior designated hitter Charlie Karstedt converted on the opportunity with an RBI double that sent his teammate home.
A stolen base and an RBI single by Eastern Michigan's Ken Battiston tied the game at one run apiece in the following inning.
The Bulls put the game out of reach, however, on an RBI double by senior first baseman Rob Lawler.
Senior Chaz Mye toed the rubber for the Bulls in the win and was sharp for eight-and-a-third innings. Mye surrendered only five hits in the game and struck out 10 Eagles in the win. The Bulls kept the lead thanks to senior shortstop Brad Agustin's run and Lawler's RBI double.
The win marked the Bulls' first victory in a conference home opener since 2002.
Senior pitcher Pierre Miville-Deschenes took the mound for the Bulls in game two and pitched well for the first four innings, until everything came undone. Miville-Deschenes hit a batter and threw two wild pitches. The Eagles capitalized on the errors, scoring six runs to all but bury the Bulls in the contest.
Buffalo added two runs in the last inning on a double by senior left fielder Bobby Pizzuto, but it was too little, too late as the Eagles walked away with the second game of the doubleheader. Miville-Deschenes recorded seven strikeouts in his four-and-a-third innings of work.
"We had had a couple of opportunities with guys on base [and] we didn't take advantage of them," Torgalski said. "We needed somebody to step up and come up with a big hit in certain times and it didn't happen.
In the final game of the series, the Bulls just couldn't figure out Eastern Michigan's lefty Collin Taylor. Buffalo scored only one run in the game off of a steal by Skonieczki.
Taylor struck out five Bulls and gave up five hits in the Eagles' win. Buffalo junior pitcher Josh Edwards allowed six hits and struck out four Eagles in six-and-a-third innings of work.
"Edwards went into the seventh inning with a two hitter," Torgalski said. "He just kind of ran out of gas. He gave us an opportunity and we just didn't score runs for him."
Buffalo will head back to Fred Handler Park Tuesday to take on St. Bonaventure at 2 p.m.

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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