MERION STATION, PA - Despite a stellar performance on the mound from senior starting pitcher Kevin Hughes, the Buffalo baseball team (6-8) dropped a 5-2 loss at St. Joseph's (4-14)Saturday afternoon. The Hawks put up four runs in the eighth inning to finally break through after a brisk start to the game by the UB pitching staff. Matt Pollock was a perfect 4-4 in the game, with two doubles and a RBI.
Buffalo struck first thanks to Pollock, who laced a double to center field that led off the game. A bunt from Jason Kanzler moved him just 90 feet from home, and Tom Murphy's sacrifice fly would bring him in. In the third inning, Pollock would prove to be the run producer rather than the catalyst, hitting a single that would bring in Ryan Tulloch, who had started the inning with a single of his own. That would be the only runs scored by UB, and through the first seven innings it appeared to be more than enough for Hughes.
The senior pitcher from Lockport, NY did not let a single batter past second base and scattered three singles over his five innings of work. He would set the Hawks down in order in the first, fourth and fifth innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen. For the day, Hughes did not allow a single walk, and struck out eight batters to lower his earned run average nearly three whole runs. He sports a team-high 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the season.
The Hawks cut Buffalo's lead to 2-1 in the sixth inning after a pair of singles put runners on the corners and a fielder's choice would bring in one. In the eighth, the first three batters would reach safely before a single would give St. Joe's the 3-2 lead. Another RBI single and a walk with the bases loaded would provide all the cushion the home team would need for the 5-2 win.
Despite the loss, Pollock has continued his recent tear by recording a hit in his ninth straight game. Over that nine-game stretch, he is batting .514 (18-35) and has five multi-hit games in the past six games overall, batting .625 (15-24). Next up for Buffalo will be its final game in the Philadelphia area, a 12:15 pm game against Villanova (12-7) tomorrow.