|Central Michigan (9-11)||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||7||2|
|Central Michigan (10-11)||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||5||0|
|Central Michigan (10-12)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||2|
Weather forced UB to move their conference opener 60 miles and one day but the series against Central Michigan ended up being well worth the wait. UB knocked off the Chips on Saturday and split a double header on Sunday to open up MAC play with a series win for the first time since joining the conference more than a dozen years ago.
Saturday The Chips held in Buffalo in check for all but one inning, the ninth inning. Buffalo (12-10, 2-1 MAC) saved its best for last, batting a near perfect frame to to overcome a 4-0 deficit and shock the Chippewas (10-12, 1-2 MAC) by a score of 5-4. Alex Baldock hit the walk-off double to drive in Jason Kanzler, after Kanzler had just hit a three-run double to tie the game.
In the first game of Sunday's double header UB went into the 8th inning up 3-2 but Zach Fields hit a triple that drove in pat MacKENZIE to tie the game and then score himself when Neal Jacobs hit a single on the very next at bat. The Chips held UB scoreless in the 8th and 9th to score the 4-3 win and even up the series.
In the bumper match Mike Burke took over going the distance and only surrendering three hits and one walk while striking out ten Central Michigan Batters.
Strong pitching and an explosive 5th inning that saw UB put up five runs was enough to secure a 7-0 win, and the series.
Coming into conference play the Bulls, picked last in the East before the season, had already exceeded expectations. Their 10-9 record led the division but there were questions about the strength of schedule.
MAC Baseball: Conference Primer - Hustle Belt
Would you believe that the team picked to finish last in the East, and next to last overall comes into conference play with the best record in the East? While their quality of opponents hasn't been anything to write home about, they have gotten solid pitching, and terrific hitting to start the year. -- rovitz707
Central Michigan had a respectable 9-10 record coming in, had a decent strength of schedule, and was picked to win the MAC West before the season started.
All around this was a statement series by UB who looks to defy those who believed Buffalo's success in last seasons MAC Baseball tournament was a Tom Murphy driven fluke.
Next up for the Bulls is a mid week game against Canisius of the MAAC. The rod game will ironically be closer to campus than this weekends home games and the first pitch is set for 3PM on Tuesday.