AKRON, OH - The University at Buffalo baseball team split its Mid-American Conference doubleheader versus Akron at Lee Jackson Field on Saturday afternoon capturing a 9-8 victory in 10-innings followed by a 7-6 loss in the nightcap. The Bulls' extra-inning opening victory over the Zips, tied the record for most wins in a season (20) since the program's reinstatement in 2000.
Heading into the top of the ninth in the opener, Buffalo trailed Akron, 8-6. With senior left fielder Bobby Pizzuto reaching first off a base hit, senior shortstop Jacob Rosenbeck belted a two-run shot to deep right to tie the contest at 8-8 for his fifth home run of the season.
Following an unsuccessful chance by the Zips to capture the lead in the bottom of the ninth, the Bulls took an advantage of their opportunity by capturing a 9-8 lead in the top of the 10th. With runners on first and second, senior second baseman Brad Agustin dropped a RBI base hit into right field, driving in senior first baseman Rob Lawlerfor the 9-8 lead.
The Zips' hope of a rally in the bottom of the 10th came short as they went three up, three down to end the contest.
Buffalo opened the scoring in the top of the second of the opening contest, off five runs including a two-RBI double by junior David Neff. Agustin and senior catcher Brad Cochrane added RBI singles to give Buffalo a 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Akron erased the Bulls' 5-0 lead off six runs.
The Bulls tied the contest at 6-6 in the top of the fourth off an RBI base hit by Pizzuto, driving in Agustin.
Pizzuto went 4-for-6 including an RBI and a run scored. Agustin, Cochrane, Lawler and Neff each collected a pair of hits.
Sophomore Kevin Crumb (3-0) recorded the Bulls' victory in 2.1 innings of work, allowing zero runs and only two hits.
Trailing 4-1 through five complete innings in the nightcap, Buffalo managed to pull within one, 4-3, off a two-RBI double to right field by senior right fielder Charlie Karstedt.
In the top of the seventh, the Bulls erupted for three runs to take a 6-4 lead. Agustin tied the contest at 4-4 off an RBI base hit through the right side, scoring freshman catcher Tom Murphy. The Bulls would take the lead off its second RBI base hit of the inning, this time from Pizzuto, scoring Neff.
The Zips scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth to capture a 7-6 lead and eventual victory. Akron's game-winning run would come off a Buffalo fielding error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Rosenbeck, Murphy and Neff each went 2-for-4 including a run scored. In 1.0 innings of relief work, junior Jeff Thompson (2-2) recorded the Bulls' loss.
The Bulls (20-23, 6-12 MAC) will travel to Athens, Ohio to face the Ohio Bobcats in a conference road series on Friday, May 7 with the first pitch at 6:00 pm.