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NCAA Baseball - Buffalo Tops Kent in their MAC East Showdown

The top two teams in the MAC East met in Amherst and they did not disappoint.

Buffalo entered the weekend with a simple objective, show that they could play baseball with the best team in the MAC. So far this season the Bulls have had their way with the lower tier of the MAC West. Coming into the weekend UB had defeated EMU, CMU, WMU, and Toledo each by 2-1 margins. The question is how would they fair against last seasons champion and one of the best teams in the conference?

When it was all said and done UB and Kent put on a trio of pitchers duels that left Buffalo atop the East Division.

Game 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kent State (19-17) 0 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 5 7 0
Buffalo (19-16) 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 2 1 6 10 0

Kent blew game one open when, with loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning, Evan Campbell hit a pitch sky-high that caught the 35 mile-per-hour wind gusts blowing out to right field for a grand slam. That forced UB's starter Mike McGee's to call it a day and UB set to work behind Ben Hartz.

Hartz Pitched five innings and gave up just one hit, and no walks. All UB needed to do was find some offense and through four innings Buffalo managed to claw their way back into the game.

A sacrifice fly from Burke in the sixth made it 5-2, and a two-out RBI single from Kyle Figgins in the seventh cut it down to 5-3. In the 8th Kanzler brought in Scarcello and Ryan Tulloch then hit a two-out, two-strike single to right field that would score Topps and make it 5-5.

Then with one out in the ninth, Mestas drew a walk before Thomas Richards hit a double off the upper half of the wall, moving Mestas to 3rd. The Flashes elected to intentionally walk Mike Burke to face Mike Scarcello with a double play now available.

Scarcello hit a high-bouncing grounder deep into the hole at shortstop, who was able to make the force at second but could not turn the double play, allowing Mestas to score the game-winner.

Game 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kent State (19-18) 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 3 10 2
Buffalo (20-16) 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 X 4 9 6

Game two was a chess match from the onset with the teams each chipping away at each other until Buffalo managed a late run to seal the game away. It was River McWilliams coming out of the bullpen who secured the win for Buffalo while Kent's usually solid closer Kopcak was charged with the loss.

Buffalo got on the board first when Kanzler singles, was moved to second by Tulloch, stole third base and then scored on a fielding error at third base. Kent punched right back in the top of the second when, after a double stealing second and advancing to third on a sac fly Bagoly tied the game.

In the top of the 4th, helped by a total of three errors, Kent took the lead when a failed pickoff moved Miklos to third and then on the next play a Sutton hit to the short stop was mishandled allowing Miklos to score.

The games third lead change came in the bottom of the 5th when Kanzler hit a two RBI single scoring Burke and Scarello. That lead would only hold until the next inning when another UB error allowed Kent to score.

UB reliever River McWiliams entered the game for starter Anthony Magovney with two men on and no outs in the top of the eighth inning. The senior closer pitched the Bulls out of trouble, not allowing a Golden Flashes’ run. In the bottom of that frame UB took the lead for good when Mike Burke hit a sacrifice fly to score Jon Mestas.

Game 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kent State (19-18) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 8 1
Buffalo (21-16) 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 X 3 8 1


Game Three saw UB junior Mike Burke pitch Burke pitch eight innings of shutout ball. Meanwhile Buffalo got on the board in the fifth inning when RBI singles by Thomas Richards and Michael Scarcillo gave the Bulls a 2-0 lead.

In the next frame an RBI double by Alex Baldock plated Ryan Tulloch in the sixth inning to up the advantage to 3-0.

Things were going well for Burke into the ninth until Kent State got two one-out singles and a two out hit to load the bases with the winning run at the plate.

Once again UB would call on McWilliams, this time hoping for a one-out save. He would give up a two run single before striking out Derek Toadvine looking to end the game and earn his eighth save of the season.