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Comparing athletes

(09/26/10 4:00am)

Not all student athletes are treated the same. Many student athletes work hard to maintain themselves financially. For certain sports such as football however, more money is spent on the players, primarily due to the fact that the sport generates more revenue for the school itself. Take senior wrestler John Crisafulli and senior tight end Kyle Brey. Both are student athletes, but live very different lives.

Sports Wrap-ups

(07/07/10 4:00am)

Welcome to UB class of 2014. There are a lot of important things that you should know about our university, including what to expect from our sports teams. Buffalo competes in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) mainly against teams from Michigan and Ohio. Although it's not a powerhouse conference, there's always excitement surrounding athletics at UB. Whether we're falling just short of topping the No. 2 seeded UConn Huskies in men's basketball (Dec. 4, 2008) or defeating Temple University's football team on a last second hail mary (Sept. 13, 2008), the Bulls never fail to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Here's a look at what our student athletes accomplished last year and what you can look forward to during the 2010-11 seasons. Baseball

Bulls on the ball in series finale

(04/20/10 4:00am)

After dropping the first two contests of a three-game series, the baseball team was able to rebound with an extra-innings win to salvage the weekend series and top a conference foe. The Bulls (16-17, 4-8 Mid-American Conference) traveled to Muncie, Ind., for a weekend series with MAC West leaders, Ball State (16-19, 9-3 MAC). After dropping the series opener 11-5, the Bulls fell just short in game two, 6-5. In game three, however, Buffalo would take the Cardinals to the brink. In an 11-inning affair, the Bulls pulled away with an 11-7 victory for the program's first ever win against Ball State. "With the tradition that they have and the way they win every year, to be able to go down there and take one, and come that close to taking two out of three from them on their field says a lot about the way our kids played," said Bulls' head coach Ron Torgalski. In game one on Friday afternoon, the Bulls had to battle inclement weather as the game was delayed 90 minutes due to rain. When officials ruled field conditions playable, Torgalski sent senior pitcher Chaz Mye to the mound for his eighth start of the season. The southpaw struck out six Cardinals over five innings in the loss dropping his record to 3-4 on the season. Shortstop T.J. Baumet led off the game for the Cardinals with a home run to right-center field. The Cardinals tacked on another run in the inning, making the score 2-0. After a scoreless second frame, the Bulls cut into the deficit as senior second basemen Brad Agustin scored a run on an unassisted ground out to the first basemen. That was the closest the Bulls would get as Ball State went on to score four runs in the bottom of the third to extend their lead to 6-1. After a five-run outburst in the sixth, the Cardinals extended their lead to 11-1. The Bulls scored a run in each of the final three innings, but it wasn't enough as Ball State held on for the victory. In game two on Saturday afternoon, the Bulls came out seeking a win after suffering a loss less than 24 hours before. The game remained scoreless after the first inning before senior center fielder Adam Skonieczki gave the Bulls a 1-0 lead with solo home run to right field at the start of the second inning. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Agustin cleared the bases with a single up the middle to give the Bulls a 3-0 edge. Two batters later, senior designated hitter Brad Cochrane hit an RBI single and Agustin scored to extend the Bulls a lead to 4-0. The Bulls pushed across another run in the top of the third to make it a 5-0 game but the Cardinals stormed back with three runs in the bottom half of the third to cut Buffalo's lead to two. The Cardinals then scored one run in each of the next three innings to take a 6-5 lead after six innings. Skoneiczki had two chances to bring the Bulls back and each time was reminded why baseball in the game of inches. With runners on second and third in the seventh inning, Skonieczki hit a shot down the line that just bent into foul territory. In the ninth inning, Skonieczki again found himself at bat with runners in scoring position. With two outs on the board, Skonieczki made solid contact and the ball looked to be heading over the fence. Unfortunately, Skonieczki's shot fell just short and landed in the outfielder's glove on the warning track to end the game. Still hoping to capture the school's first win over the Cardinals, Torgalski and company went into game three confident they could take the final contest before heading home. Down 4-1 going into the top of the sixth inning, Agustin hit a two-run home run to right field to cut the lead to 4-3. The Bulls took a 5-4 lead in the top of the eighth inning after Cochrane singled through the right side of the infield. The Cardinals got one back to tie the game in the bottom of the inning on a solo home run. The Bulls regained the lead in the top of the ninth inning by scoring two runs on a pair of RBI hits by Agustin and junior right fielder David Neff. True to nature, the Cardinals came back and tied the game with a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings tied at seven. In the top of the eleventh, Agustin continued his torrid day as he gave the Bulls a 9-7 lead with a two-run single. Senior left fielder Bobby Pizzuto followed up with a two-run homer to extend the Bulls lead to 11-7. Senior pitcher Brian Pullyblank shut down the Cardinals for good in the bottom of the eleventh inning to earn his second victory of the season over three innings of work. It marked the first ever win for the Bulls over perennial contender Ball State. In the victory the Bulls pounded out 23 hits, including five homeruns. "I thought we were aggressive at the plate today, we had some clutch hitting with guys in scoring position with two outs," Torgalski said. Agustin went 5-for-6 in the series finale with five RBI's and hit his sixth home run of the season. The Bulls begin a five-game home stand on Tuesday as they face local rival Canisus at Amherst Audubon Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. E-mail:

Bulls renew local rivalries

(04/16/10 4:00am)

Coming off of three straight losses against conference-foe Toledo, the baseball team played three games in two days against two local rivals. The Bulls (15-15, 3-6 Mid-American Conference) hosted the St. Bonaventure Bonnies (5-18) in a non-conference, Big Four doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at Amherst Audubon Field. A day later, the Niagara Purple Eagles (11-20) welcomed the Bulls to Sal Maglie Stadium for the Bulls' sixth game in five days. But fatigue did not affect the Bulls' bats. After dropping its first game to the Bonnies 5-4, the Bulls rebounded in the nightcap and salvaged the doubleheader with a 12-2 win. The Bulls' offense continued its hot streak on Wednesday and posted its second-highest run total of the season with a 21-4 win against Niagara. Head coach Ron Torgalski was very pleased with how his team responded to the grueling stretch of games. "This was our sixth game in five days and I thought they might be tired," Torgalski said. "However, the energy was there and we played a good all-around game." In the first game against the Bonnies, senior pitcher Brian Pullyblank competed in his third start of the season and went six innings in a 5-4 defeat. Senior second baseman Brad Agustin played well in the loss. He went 2-for-2 at the plate with a double, two walks and one run scored. After the tough loss in the first game, the Bulls turned to sophomore pitcher Kevin Crumb. Crumb came out throwing strikes and retired the first nine batters he faced. "We tell our guys if you come out and throw strikes, we got a chance to make plays behind you," Torgalski said. "Kevin came out, threw strikes, and was pounding the zone and they were hitting balls at us." The Bulls offense came out aggressive and gained an early 2-0 advantage, putting pressure on the St. Bonaventure defense. Buffalo stole four bases in the first inning alone. "That's the way we want to play, we want to be aggressive," Torgalski said. "We got some guys in the front of the line up that run well, that do a great job of reading pitchers and getting jumps. I think we rattled them, they had a young catcher back there." Buffalo's early surge snowballed and the game was never close. The Bulls pounded out 17 hits en route to a 12-2 victory. Eight of the nine players in the starting lineup scored at least one run, and the only player who didn't record a run was thrown out attempting to score on a close play at home. In the fourth inning, the Bulls batted around as the team sent all nine batters to the plate at least once on their way to a six-run inning. Pizzuto went 3-for-3 in the second game with a walk. He finished with two RBIs, two stolen bases and two runs scored. The Bulls' offense wasn't the only bright spot. Crumb combined with junior pitcher Jeff Thompson to allow only three hits in the game. Thompson earned the win, striking out four batters in three and one-third innings without allowing a run. Agustin reached base 7-of-9 times on the day while batting in the lead-off spot. With the run he scored in the first inning of the first game, Agustin set the record for runs scored in a career for the Bulls with 137. Against Niagara, Buffalo led 5-3 after four innings of baseball. From that point, Buffalo's offense erupted and scored nine runs in the top of the fifth, the most runs the team has scored in an inning this season. Senior designated hitter Brad Cochrane and shortstop Jacob Rosenbeck got it started with back-to-back RBI singles, and the Bulls never looked back. Freshman third baseman Alex Baldock followed with a two-RBI base hit and the Bulls extended their lead to 10-3. The Purple Eagles were forced to change pitchers, but it was to no avail. Freshman catcher Tom Murphy doubled to left in the first at bat against Niagara reliever Brett Sabourin. Cochrane then recorded his third RBI of the inning with a two-run home run to centerfield. The Bulls finished up their scoring for the inning with an RBI single by senior right fielder Charlie Karstedt. Buffalo scored their last two runs on the day in the ninth inning, bringing the team's scoring total to 21. "Offensively, we were very aggressive," Torgalski said. "We had a great approach at the plate with two strikes and it showed as we were able to record 19 hits. We were also aggressive on the base paths and had a good amount of stolen bases." Agustin and Lawler led the way with three hits apiece, while four other players had two hits each. Cochrane, Baldock, and Karstedt each recorded three RBIs on the day as well. Hitting wasn't the only area in which the Bulls excelled at on Wednesday. Buffalo only committed one error, compared to six by Niagara. Junior pitcher Mike Klaus earned his first career victory, striking out three batters over four innings. Torgalski was especially pleased with the pitching performance. "Most of our pitching staff was tired after this past stretch of games," Torgalski said. "The three guys who pitched today hadn't been getting a lot of time, and only gave up four runs over nine innings." The Bulls will not get very much time to celebrate the win as they hit the road for a weekend series with Ball State (14-18, 5-1 MAC). The first pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. E-mail: