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Friday, June 21, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Bulls Take Two of Three From Delaware State

After opening the season with four consecutive loses to New Mexico State, the baseball team hit the road again in search of its first win as it faced off against Delaware State in a three-game weekend series.

Fueled by an offensive outburst in game one, the Bulls (2-5) rode a wave of momentum to a series win, taking two out of three from the Hornets (3-7).

The Bulls discovered their offensive groove in game one. The Bulls racked up 18 runs on 19 hits, led by strong performances from the top of their order. The top three hitters in the Bulls lineup, sophomore outfielders Matt Pollock and Jason Kanzler, and junior designated hitter Jordan Camp, went a combined 8-for-17 on the day with 13 RBIs.

Head coach Ron Torgalski couldn't say enough about the table setters at the top of his lineup.

"Matt Pollock has been doing a great job all season so far," Torgalski said. "We're only seven games in, but he's been very patient and disciplined at the plate. He's working pitchers and working counts. Right behind him, [Kanzler and Camp] have been swinging the bat well, and coming up with hits with runners in scoring position. A handful of those times have been with two outs."

Picking up the win on the mound for the Bulls was senior pitcher Kevin Crumb. He bounced back from a rough outing against New Mexico State to improve his record to 1-1 on the season. Crumb went five innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, while striking out five Hornets.

Game two, however, took a much different turn.

The Bulls put together a furious comeback after going down 4-1 in the sixth inning, plating three runs to pull even with the Hornets. The momentum appeared to have shifted the Bulls' way after RBIs from juniors Daniel Scahill and Andrew Smietana, and freshman Michael Burke.

Despite the Bulls' best efforts, the Hornets put together a rally of their own in the bottom half of the seventh inning. Delaware State scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk-off single to defeat the Bulls, 5-4.

Torgalski found a silver lining in the loss.

"Anytime you get in a close game like that, it prepares you not only for your conference season, but also for your next game," Torgalski said. "We came back and tied it, but the problem is our pitchers need to come out and put up zeros."

In the rubber match of the three-game series, the Bulls jumped on top early. They put up three runs in the first two innings thanks to RBIs from Camp and sophomore catcher Tom Murphy.

The teams then exchanged runs for the next several innings, eventually locked in a 6-6 tie heading into the final inning.

In a series defined by rallies, the Bulls would put one more together, as Kanzler reached on an error to open up the inning. He then stole second base, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Another Hornets' error allowed him to advance to third, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Murphy to put the Bulls ahead 7-6.

The Bulls will look to continue their winning ways when they head to Farmville, Va. next weekend for a four-game series against Longwood (8-5). Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m., with play on Sunday expected to get underway at noon.

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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