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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Big Weekend in Carolina for Bulls Big Hitter

The baseball team has been on the wrong end of lopsided games this season. Last weekend, it decided to turn the tables and scored 39 runs over the course of three games.

Buffalo (5-11) turned it up offensively in its three-game weekend series against North Carolina Central (1-18, 0-2 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). After scoring six runs in the series' first inning, the Bulls never looked back and swept the Eagles 19-7, 11-6, 9-2.

Senior designated hitter Eric Bryce had a big week, batting .615 in the weekend series, hitting five home runs. He was the main offensive force in the series opener, going 3-for-5. Collegiate Baseball Newspaper named Bryce one of its National Players of the Week. Head coach Ron Torgalski thought the senior deserved the honor and was impressed with his play in the series.

Sophomore catcher Tom Murphy continues to be a dominating force at the plate for the Bulls.

Murphy showed why he was named the Mid-American Conference East Player of the Week with his .571 batting average and six RBIs in the series against N.C. Central. He also hit a career-high three home runs in the second game.

Torgalski is excited about Murphy's recent success.

"Murphy has had a great year so far," Torgalski said. "He's handling the pitches very well and his approach at the plate has been fantastic from day one."

Buffalo's offense remained explosive throughout the series, totaling 30 runs in the first two games over the weekend. The runs stopped flowing in the final game, as the Bulls were held to just one run in the first six innings.

A strong performance by the pitching staff saved the series sweep. Senior pitcher Josh Edwards didn't give up any earned runs in the seven innings he pitched. He struck out eight batters in the process, the most by a Buffalo pitcher this season.

The Bulls' lineup drew off of Edwards' command of the plate. Junior outfielder Daniel Scahill hit a leadoff home run to put the Bulls ahead. Sophomore Alex Baldock and Murphy took advantage of a fielder's error to extend the lead. Junior infielder Andrew Smietana's RBI triple and Bryce's solo home run put the game out of reach.

Torgalski felt that the pitching was one of the main reasons why the Bulls were successful against N.C. Central, despite the large number of runs in the series.

"I thought we pitched it much better than we have the previous couple of series," Torgalski said. "Something we stressed from the start of the season was that if we threw the strikes and made plays behind them, we were going to have a chance to win."

The Bulls will start conference competition in a three-game series against Eastern Michigan (11-7) this weekend. The first game will start at 3 p.m. on Friday. Check Friday's edition of The Spectrum for coverage of Tuesday's two-game series against St. Bonaventure (6-10).

Email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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