Bulls Open MAC East Play at Kent State
BUFFALO, NY - After two straight weekend against Mid-American Conference West Division opponents, the Buffalo baseball team (7-16, 1-4 MAC) will open its Eastern Division schedule with three games against the Kent State Golden Flashes (15-13, 6-0 MAC).
The Bulls are hoping to snap a six-game losing streak, most recently dropping both games of a doubleheader on Tuesday to St. Bonaventure. The team lost game one 7-6 and game two 8-4. Matt Pollock had five hits and two RBI over the two games. Last weekend, Western Michigan took two games from UB, with the Sunday game rained out. So far in conference play, the Bulls have lacked the firepower that made it one of the most daunting in the nation, slugging .428 in the five MAC games as opposed to its .580 mark over 18 non-conference games to this point in the year.
Despite the relative power outage, the Bulls have received a huge lift from its pitching staff, who have lowered the team's earned run average from 8.65 in non-conference games to 5.63 in the MAC. Cameron Copping, the team's projected starter on Friday, has a ERA of 3.18 over his 17 innings of work against conference opponents.
Kent State comes into the weekend on a run of its own, winning seven of its last 10 games to help push the team's record back over the .500 mark. The Flashes swept the first two weekends of conference games, beating Northern Illinois and Ball State with two wins against the Cardinals coming in extra innings.
The team's success has been thanks to its balance of solid pitching and a knack for getting on base. Though it hasn't been able to hit the long ball (13 home runs in 28 games), Kent State has still slugged its way to 76 doubles and a team batting average of .301. Leading the way at the plate has been the trio of Evan Campbell, George Roberts and Jimmy Rider. Campbell leads the team in batting average among those with more than 100 at bats (.395) and Roberts sits behind him with a .346 batting average and .481 slugging percentage. Rider has hit an impressive 17 doubles to go along with a team-high 24 runs batted in.
On the mound, the Flashes will throw senior David Starn (4-2, 2.17 ERA) on Friday and follow with Ryan Bores (4-2, 3.95 ERA) and Tyler SKulina (3-2, 2.95 ERA).
First pitch Friday at Schoonover Stadium is scheduled for 3 pm.