OLEAN, NY - Keyed by outstanding pitching efforts in both games, the Buffalo baseball team extended its win streak to five games with a pair of blowout wins. The team won game one 7-1 thanks to a complete game from Cory Folk and 11-3 in game two after riding a strong effort by Kevin Hughes and the Bulls relievers.
A sacrifice fly by River McWilliams scored Matt Pollock to lead off the scoring in the first inning. Pollock came up in the very next inning to drive home Jason Kanzler, who reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. The team extended the lead in the top of the fourth thanks to a dose of power from Alex Baldock.
Michael Burke led off and was hit by a pitch and was moved to second on a bunt. Daniel Scahill later scored him on a single to left field. With runners on first and second with two outs, Baldock stepped up and stroked a home run to left field to cap the inning and give Buffalo a 6-0 lead.
The Bulls capped its scoring in the sixth inning without even recording a hit against the Bonnies. Pollock was hit by a pitch to lead off and Scahill drew a walk. With a fielder's choice, the Bulls put runners on first and third with only one out, and Tom Murphy hit a sacrifice fly to center field that plated Pollock.
The team didn't need much offensive support, as freshman Cory Folk threw a complete game gem to win his first career game as a Bull. Over his seven innings of work, the Liverpool, NY native scattered six hits and only one earned run. He also struck out four batters in his first complete game, the team's second this year.
In game two, it was more of the same both on the mound and at the plate, as Buffalo scored at least one run in six of the seven innings and more strong efforts from the starting pitcher shut down the Bonaventure offense.
Despite two of the first three batters popping out, the team rallied to score three times. Scahill singled and scored on a Murphy single when the Bonnies had a throwing error by its centerfielder that also advanced Murphy to second. River McWilliams had a single right after that scored Murphy and after another single by Eric Bryce, McWilliams scored on a Jordan Camp single.
Following a flawless inning from starter Kevin Hughes in the bottom of the first, Buffalo added three more runs in the second. Two straight walks and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with only one out. Baldock continued a strong afternoon with an RBI single and another sacrifice fly from Murphy scored run number two. McWilliams converted on the third run of the inning, scoring Baldock on a single up the middle.
In the third inning, Buffalo again was resourceful in its offense, needing only one hit to score yet another run. After a leadoff single by Camp, two groundouts move him to third. Pollock drew the two-out walk. The team converted a double-steal, with Pollock taking second straight up and Camp stealing home on a delay, making the score 7-1 after the first three innings.
Eric Bryce stepped to the plate in the fourt inning with Tom Murphy on third with two outs. As it has been for the past week, Bryce converted, hitting his sixth home run in the past four games with a two-run shot to make it 9-1. The final two Buffalo runs came on an RBI triple by Pollock in the fifth and Pollock again scoring - this time on a wild pitch - in the seventh inning.
The offense supported Hughes and the Buffalo bullpen plenty, giving the junior his first win of the season. In his four innings, Hughes gave up one run and struck out four while walking none and yielding four hits. A cavalcade of relievers iced the game for Buffalo, including a scoreless inning from Daniel Ginader and Jeff Thompson.
With the main portion of the non-conference season complete, the team will ride the momentum of a five-game winning streak to Ypsilanti for three games against Mid American Conference foe Eastern Michigan. The Eagles are leading the West Division with an 11-7 record and boast the second-best team offense in the conference, behind only the Bulls (7-11). First pitch of the series will be Friday at 3 pm.