Mike Burke's shutout salvaged yet another series win for Buffalo and kept the Bulls sitting at second in the MAC East. Going into the weekend the Bulls were tied with Kent at one game behind Miami, a kent sweep of the RedHawks, along with a UB series win at Eastern Michigan puts the order Kent (9-3), Buffalo (8-4), Miami (7-5).
The weekend started off with an offensive explosion from Thomas Richards.
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UB did their real damage in the third inning. Baldock led off with a double and Mautner reached after being hit with a pitch. After Figgins sacrificed them both into scoring position and Mestas added another sac fly. Mautner would be brough home from third on a single through the left side from Mike Burke, and Burke would then be brough in on a two-run shot by Richards.
The other big shot by richards came up in the sixth when he led off with a solo home run. It was the first multi-home run game by an individual since Matt Pollock hit a pair at Toledo on May 4 of last season.
Mike McGee picthed well until the 6th, when he got into a jam. Despite having to be pulled he earned the win after allowing just two runs in 5.1 innings of work. Ben Hartz did a spectacular job getting out of the sixth, coming in with the bases loaded and one out he got UB out of the 6th with a 7-2 lead. After one inning he handed the game over to and River McWilliams who closed out the win with 2.1 innings and an earned run.
Game two was decided by men left on base, UB left a whole lot of guys in the field and the Eagles did not.
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Anthony Magovney only lasted into the middle of the fourth inning before exiting and UB needed to cal on Dan Ginader, Cory Folk, and Zach Stephens. But by the time UB got to the Bull pen the score was already 7-1.
Buffalo batted well all day but inning after inning the Bulls left players on base. When the final picth was thrown UB had left a dozen runners on base and many times in scoring position.
Game three was won on the arm of Mike Burke
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Burke allowed just three hits, holding the Eagles to a .100 batting average as a team. None of EMU's hits went for extra bases, and he struck out four. During the tail end of the game, with Eastern Michigan desperately trying to get back in Burke kept the bases clean, not a single Eagle made it to the bases.
This was Burke's second shutout of the season, the first came against CMU. Two shutouts actually sets the program's modern-era record for no-nos in a season.
UB went into the eighth with just a 2 run lead until a one out walk of Baldock was parlayed into a run after back-to-back singles from Mautner and Kyle Figgins. A couple of batter later Mautner score on a two-out single from Thomas Richards giving UB a 4-0 lead that Burke held onto through the 9th.
Buffalo has three big four games this week before hosting division leading Kent in their first MAC east series of the year.
Buffalo is now sporting an 8-4 conference record. That is more conference wins than all but three seasons since restarting the program as a consequence of membership in the Mid American Conference.
The Bulls are also sitting on a 18-14 overall record. 18 Wins exceededs all but four seasons during the MAC era.
Combine this with River McWilliams single season saves record, and with Burke's shutout mark and it's easy to call this the best season, thus far, of UB baseball since the program was restarted in 2000.