Bulls Open Spring Break Trip With Loss at Belmont
NASHVILLE, TN - The Buffalo baseball team started a busy Spring Break week of games Tuesday, taking on the Belmont Bruins (12-4) in Nashville. Control issues by the UB pitching staff would prove to be the deciding factor, as the host Bruins overcame an early deficit to earn a 9-2 win.
The Bulls (7-7) would jump ahead early, scoring both runs in the top of the first. Jon Mestas led off with a single but would be cut down on a fielder's choice immediately after on a hit from Jason Kanzler. The speedy senior outfielder would make the most out of his successful attempt at taking away the double play, enducing a balk with his activity at first, then going ahead and stealing third for his sixth steal of the season.
He would not be brought in until a two-out single from Alex Baldock. A walk to Thomas Richards and a single from Mike Burke would bring Baldock around to make it a 2-0 game. The Bulls would load up the bases in the second inning with just one out, but could not push across any more runs.
Belmont would score in the bottom of the first and score twice in the third, three times in the fourth and three times in the sixth, with free passes being the catalyst to the big innings. For the game, Belmont drew ten walks and the Bulls hit three more batters on top of that. Cory Folk took the loss after giving up six runs in four innings. Mike Kaelin gave up three runs in three innings out of the bullpen, and Brandon Bentley made his team debut in the eighth inning and struck out two.
Burke led the team with three hits, including a triple, while Kanzler added two of his own.
Tomorrow afternoon, the team will play one of its biggest non-conference opponents ever, taking on Vanderbilt at 4 pm. The Commodores are currently ranked second in the nation. Zach Stephens will likely take the hill for UB.