Bulls Swept in Season-Opening Doubleheader
LAS CRUCES, NM - The Buffalo Bulls opened the 2011 season Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader against New Mexico State. The Aggies used a blistering offense to gain an early lead in both games, sweeping the Bulls 20-12 in game one and 15-3 in game two.
In game one, Buffalo came out swinging, scoring three runs. Matt Pollock led off with a double down the leftfield line and later scored on a Tom Murphy single. It was then followed up by another run-scoring single, this time with River McWilliams knocking home Alex Baldock, who had reached after being hit by a pitch. McWilliams moved to second on a steal setting up runners on second and third with only one out. Jordan Camp rounded out the team's scoring in the first inning with a sacrifice fly.
New Mexico State responded in a big way, however, scoring 15 unanswered runs with two in the first inning, five in the second and eight in the third off of pitchers Kevin Crumb and Jonathan Fragulia. The Bulls reached base only twice in that time before scoring another three runs in the top of the fifth. The team used small ball to crack the scoreboard again, as Jason Kanzler drew a leadoff walk and stole second. After Pollock was hit by a pitch, Daniel Scahill drove home Kanzler with a single which moved Pollock to third as well. The team wasted no time scoring the runner on third, as Baldock hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Pollock. An RBI double by Murphy scored Scahill for the team's final run of the inning.
Following four more Aggie runs, Buffalo put together it's best inning of the day in the seventh. McWilliams singled and was moved to third on a double from Camp. Michael Burke singled to score McWilliams and the Bulls loaded the bases soon after. Kanzler reached on a fielder's choice to knock home Camp. Pollock hit a run-scoring double and Scahill collected his second and third RBIs of the game on a single to center field, moving the score to 19-11 after seven innings. Burke hit a solo home run in the ninth inning to cap the Bulls scoring in a 20-12 loss.
Game two played out in a very similar fashion, with New Mexico State scoring 12 runs in the first four innings to race out to a 12-0 lead. Errors doomed the Bulls to its slow start in the game, with two errors leading to five unearned runs in the first three innings. The Aggies pitching staff was efficient, with senior Dan Reid scattering four hits and one run in seven innings of work.
Buffalo managed a run in each of the final three innings, starting in the seventh with a Kanzler ground out to first base that scored Baldock, who had reached base earlier thanks to his second hit by pitch of the day. In the eighth, Burke struck out but reached first thanks to a wild pitch. A ground out and another wild pitch moved him to third with only one out and Buffalo converted again, with Kanzler grounding out to first but scoring Burke on the play. The final run of the day came on a ninth-inning double down the right field line by pinch hitter Russ Carone. Senior righty Josh Edwards drew the loss after giving up nine runs (four earned) in 2.2 innings.
The Bulls will be back at it tomorrow afternoon with another doubleheader to cap its opening weekend. Game one will begin at 3:05 EST and game two scheduled for 7:05. Live stats will again be available.