KENT, OH - After a quiet five innings, Mid-American Conference East division rivals Buffalo (7-18, 1-6 MAC) and Kent State (17-13, 8-0 MAC) both came out of their shells Saturday afternoon and scored the game's nine total runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th innings. The Bulls struck first but came up short, losing 6-3.
Buffalo got another solid start from its starting rotation, as senior Jeff Thompson was efficient in his 6.2 innings of work. In arguably his best start of the season, Thompson struck out five batter while allowing just six hits and a lone walk. His only speed bump would come in his final inning of work, when he allowed three runs to the Flashes.
The Bulls drew first blood in the top of the sixth inning with three runs. Jon Mestas led off with a rocket line drive that narrowly avoided the pitcher, putting him on first. He would score all the way from first thanks to a mammoth double by Dan Scahill. The senior took the first pitch he saw the opposite way, splitting the left and center fielders and plating Mestas. After a wild pitch moved him up to third, a double from Thomas Richards scored him easily. Mike Burke scored Richards a bit unconventionally, as his lofting fly ball to center field was dropped, allowing the hustling sophomore to come in for the team's third run of the frame.
Kent State would tie the game in the bottom of the seventh to chase Thompson. Piecing together four hits, the Flashes came just a home run shy of hitting for the collective cycle and squared the game a 3-3. In the eighth, the home team would add three more runs off reliever Kevin Crumb.
In the top of the ninth, Kent State's pitching staff put itself in a bit of a bind by loading the bases on a pair of walks and a hit batter before a single out was recorded. Two straight UB batters were caught looking at the third strike, and Mestas' fly ball to right was caught easily to end the game.
Tomorrow's season finale will begin at 1 pm. Freshman Mike McGee will likely get the start, which would be the first weekend start of his promising young career.