ATHENS, OH - Despite a resurgence of power from Tom Murphy and a nearly 2-to-1 advantage in hits, the Bulls were unable to pull out a win Friday evening against the Ohio Bobcats, losing 6-4. Four players had a pair of hits for UB (10-24, 3-9 MAC), who owned an 11-6 advantage in hits, but a rare rough patch for starter Cameron Copping proved to be just enough for Ohio (20-17, 9-4 MAC).
Buffalo struck first in the opening inning thanks to a lead off walk from Matt Pollock and a single from Murphy to put runners on the corners with one out. Murphy stole second to set up a big opportunity for Alex Baldock, who converted with a RBI single up the middle to bring in Pollock. Copping, who entered the day with three straight quality starts in the Mid-American Conference season, was uncharacteristically wild right from the beginning though and the Bobcats came through with three runs in the bottom of the first thanks to three wild pitches and three straight walks to open the inning. Copping settled down though, allowing no more runs until the fifth inning while the offense regained the lead.
In the third inning, Jason Kanzler led off with a single and Murphy converted with a two-run home run to left field to snap a lengthy drought. The junior catcher's last home run came back on Mar. 16, when he ended a streak of five home runs in six games with long ball against La Salle. The shot tied the game at 3-3, and UB would go up in the fourth after a pair of doubles from Jordan Camp and Pollock. Ohio would snatch the lead back with single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. Copping finished with a season-high seven walks over his six innings, as the Bulls pitching staff as a whole walked nine and struck out only three Bobcats.
The Bulls will look to force a split tomorrow and aim to win its second conference series in a row. Jeff Thompson will take the mound and hopes to build off his best start of the season that came against Akron last Friday. First pitch at Bob Wren Stadium is scheduled for 3 pm.