GREENSBORO, NC - The Buffalo baseball team started its 2013 season Friday with a pair of games at North Carolina A&T. The Bulls (0-2) lost game one 6-3, then lost game two 6-5 on a walk-off hit from the Aggies (2-0).
The host built a 3-0 lead through the first three innings before the Bulls could get on the board. Alex Baldock led off the top of the fourth with a triple over the center fielder's head, and Tyler Mautner instantly converted with an RBI single to cut into the deficit. Mautner returned from a shoulder injury that scrapped his freshman season and recorded a hit in each game.
Buffalo would get only one more hit from that point until the eighth inning, while the Aggies scored two more to go up 5-1. In the eighth, Matt Pollock led off with a single and he was driven in by a two-run home run from Thomas Richards.
Game two was a back-and-forth affair, with the teams trading leads throughout the game. Buffalo scored the opening runs in the second inning, loading up the bases on a hit batter and a pair of walks with only one out. Another hit batter would bring in the first run, and Jimmy Topps would bring in another run on a sacrifice fly after entering the game as an injury sub for Pollock.
After NC A&T matched the score in the bottom of the second, Baldock scored on a pass ball in the third and Jon Mestas would come in on an error in the fourth. The Bulls would finally scored a conventional run later in the fourth, when Jason Kanzler drove in Topps on a single through the left side of the infield.
The team held a thin 5-4 lead going into the eighth inning before a UB error would bring in the tying run. After a double for the Aggies to lead off the inning, the Bulls misplayed a sacrifice bunt attempt to bring in the unearned run. After being set down in order in the top of the ninth, a single and two walks for NC A&T loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. After a fielder's choice, the game-winner would come across on a single.
River McWilliams was the hard-luck loser after allowing two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings out of the 'pen. Anthony Magovney had a solid start for UB, pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs.
The two teams will be back at it Saturday at 1 pm. If the game is postponed due to poor weather, the two teams will play at 1 pm, Sunday.