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

Bulls Sweep Rival in Doubleheader

Tuesday afternoon, the baseball team capitalized in back-to-back showdowns, finishing with five consecutive victories as non-conference play concluded.

The Bulls (7-11) are confident going into Mid-American Conference play following two impressive victories over St. Bonaventure (6-10). Buffalo's pitchers were dominant in the contests and the hitters followed suit, outscoring the Bonnies 7-1 in game one and 11-3 in game two.

Freshman pitcher Cory Folk continued his impressive season, having an exceptional performance from the mound in the first dual. Folk pitched a complete game to tally his first win as a Bull. He struck out four St. Bonaventure players and allowed only six hits and one earned run in all seven innings.

Bulls head coach Ron Torgalski did not plan on keeping his young gun out there all day but refused to interrupt his streak.

"[The team] usually likes to go a few pitchers deep," Torgalski said. "[Folk] was throwing very well and his pitch count was low, so we kept him in. This is the second time he has pitched seven or eight innings for us."

On the offensive end, Buffalo took advantage of St. Bonaventure's numerous mistakes. Sophomore outfielder Matt Pollock was the first to bat and first to score for the Bulls. After reaching first base on a throwing error, he was driven in by a sacrifice fly from sophomore infielder River McWilliams.

A mid-game attack in which Buffalo scored four runs, including three off of a home run from sophomore infielder Alex Baldock, put the Bulls up by six. The Bulls would record one more run in the top of the sixth. Pollock reached after being hit by a pitch and tagged home plate once more courtesy of a sacrifice from sophomore catcher Tom Murphy.

St. Bonaventure got its sole run in the bottom of the fifth from catcher Michael Grieco, who was batted in by shortstop Eric Jutca. Pitcher Andrew Revello was given the loss.

In the second game, junior pitcher Kevin Hughes matched Folk's dominance from the first game, allowing just one run in his time on the mound and striking out four Bonnies.

Buffalo got on the scoreboard early. The Bulls were RBI machines in the first inning, scoring three players.

The Bulls would knock in another three runs in the second off of RBIs from Baldock, Murphy, and McWilliams.

Torgalski has been pleased as of late with his team's performance at the plate.

"I think in our last seven or eight games we have really played much better," Torgalski said. "We are swinging the bat much better and it shows."

The climax of the contest came in the fourth inning. Senior designated hitter Eric Bryce hit his sixth home run in four games with a man on to add two more runs for Buffalo.

Bryce, who was named the Mid-American Conference East Player of the Week for the second straight week, rebounded after going 0-for-4 in the first game.

Torgalski commended Bryce for the years of hard work. His recent success is great not only for himself but for the team as a whole.

"Everybody is happy for [Bryce]," Torgalski said. "He works really hard and has waited for the opportunity and finally got it. All of the guys are happy for him."

Freshman pitcher Daniel Ginader and senior pitcher Jeff Thompson, who each contributed a scoreless inning, relieved Hughes late in the contest. Freshman pitcher Michael Burke closed the game for Buffalo. He allowed two runs in the final inning, but they could not lift the Bonnies over the Bulls.

The Bulls head to Eastern Michigan (12-8) this weekend to begin their MAC campaign. The first contest of the three-game series begins at 3 p.m. on Friday.




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