Persistent Offense Yields Doubleheader Sweep
DAYTON, OH - The Buffalo baseball team opened up its four-game series at Dayton Friday, with a doubleheader in the Flyer Classic. The offense cranked out 26 hits over the two games - an 8-4 win over Oakland (2-9), and an 8-5 win over Dayton (3-10). Senior outfielder Jason Kanzler went a combined 5-8 in the wins.
Kanzler got things started right away in the morning, hitting a one-out solo home run in the first inning to give the Bulls an early 1-0 lead on Oakland. The Grizzlies would score twice in the third inning to take over the lead, but it would be for only a brief moment. In the top of the fifth, the Bulls' first two batters were retired in order, but as the team would operate all day, it would not stop them.
Mike Scarcello drew a walk and was immediately followed by singles from Jimmy Topps and Jon Mestas to load up the bases. They would all come home as Kanzler would hit a double to left that would put UB up 4-2.
The lead would be extended in the seventh, as Scarcello and Topps started the inning with singles before being bunted over by Mestas. The Grizzlies wisely walked Kanzler to load up the bases. Tyler Mautner grounded out to third but was able to bring in Scarcello. With two outs, Alex Baldock singled to center field to score Topps and Kanzler and move the score to 7-2. The team's final run would come in the eighth, as Topps hit a two-out triple and would score on an error off a hit from Mestas.
Anthony Magovney earned the win for the Bulls after pitching six innings and allowing just the two runs in the third inning. He struck out six and scattered five hits. Ben Hartz was solid out of the bullpen, allowing two hits and an earned run in three innings of relief.
In the afternoon game against the Flyers it was a slightly different story, but with similar results. The teams traded off quality scoring chances, but were unable to convert on anything through the first four full innings. That would change in the fifth, as Buffalo would score all eight runs from the fifth through eighth innings.
Thomas Richards led off the fifth with a single and was bunted over by Scarcello. An infield single by Topps would put runners on the corners, and Richards would come home on an RBI single by Mestas. Topps would go first to third on the hit, and Kanzler would drive him in on a hit to left field.
In the very next inning, the Bulls piled on three more runs. Mike Burke led off with a double, and Nick Sinay would follow with an infield single. A bunt from Richards put both into scoring position, and another infield single from Scarcello would be enough to bring in Burke. After a Dayton pitching change, Topps would pull off a suicide squeeze bunt that would score Sinay. Two wild pitches in an at-bat to Mestas would move Scarcello from second to home to make it a 5-0 game.
After Dayton cracked the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, more pitching issues would allow UB to respond. A single by Mautner and a double from Burke with one out set up the offense, and Mautner would eventually score on yet another wild pitch. The scoring would be capped in the eighth, with a Mestas home run to lead off and a Mautner sacrifice fly to bring in Kanzler.
The support would be enough to lead sophomore Mike McGee to his first win of the season. The lefty would go 5.1 innings and was an effective game manager. He struck out three and walked just two Flyers while allowing five hits. River McWilliams earned his fourth save of the season after closing out the final 3.2 innings with one earned run allowed.
The 16 hits from Buffalo in game two were the most in a single game all season.
The Bulls will play a single game over the next two days in Dayton to cap the weekend. Tomorrow, it will be a rematch with Oakland at 3 pm before facing the host Flyers at 11 am Sunday morning.