The Bulls entered the weekend with a chance to extend their lead in the MAC and a chance to secure a spot in this years MAC championship tournament. Winning their seventh conference series of the season was good enough to secure that playoff spot but a last ditch victory by Ohio in game three kept the Bulls from pulling ahead.
The Bobcats kept things interesting thanks to a couple of early miscues by Buffalo and solid pitching from OU's Miller. But the Bobcat bullpen was unable to hold UB back and the Bulls scored 5 late runs.
Despite a botched pickoff attempt that lead to Ohio's only run Buffalo's went 5.1 innings with just the one unearned run. Then Ben Hartz, who has made a habit of putting in strong middle relief took the ball midway through the 5th to earn the win.
Buffalo took the lead for good in a hitless sixth that saw Ohio walk in a one run and allow another via a wild pitch.
Alex Baldock's lead-off double in the seventh inning was follows up by a Thomas Richards two-out double down the right field line that just stayed fair. The hit brought scoring in Baldock and Tyler Mautner. Baldock also scored on a Maunter hit in the eighth.
The bottom third of UB's lineup (Richards, Burke, and Scarcello) went 4-8 with four walks and three runs batted in.
As a team, UB went 16-33 at the plate, good for a .485 average that raised the team's season average five percentage points.
The Bulls hit the ball early and often. When is was all said and done UB went 16-33 at the plate, good for a .485 average that raised the team's season average five percentage points.
Three runs came across in the second inning. Mike Burke hit a laser that got past the Ohio third baseman for two runs and Jimmy Topps brought in Burke with a sacrifice fly.
UB put the game away in the sixth inning, as four more runs would come home. Mestas led off with a double down the third base line, and Richards beat out a swinging bunt to the right side of the infield. Burke would drive in Mestas on a single, and after a bunt to move both runners into scoring position, a wild pitch would make it a 6-0 game. Topps would then pull off the perfect suicide squeeze, bringing in a husting Burke for a 7-0 advantage. Topps finished the game with three hits and a pair of RBI.
Jason Kanzler kept the inning alive with two outs, hitting his fifth triple of the season over the right fielder's head. Baldock would reach on another error that allowed Kanzler to score for the final UB run.
Magovney was in control all game long, during his second shutout of the season he had to throw just 85 pitches. The sophomore would retire the first seven batters of the game, and picked off the lone base runner he allowed in the third.
At the plate, Kanzler and Mestas each enjoyed three-hit games along with Topps, while Richards and Burke had two hits apiece.
Buffalo would be denied the sweep in an error prone finale in which UB twice come from behind to tie the game but the Bobcats scored a ninth inning run to bring home he win.
Entering the bottom of the fifth, the Bulls trailed 2-0 when Jimmy Topps led off with a single and was bunted over to second by Jason Kanzler. Alex Baldock hit a grounder to third, but Topps was able to draw his attention long enough to force a bad throw, going for an error that scored Topps and moved Baldock all the way around to third. Tyler Mautner then drove in Baldock with a groundout to tie the game at 2-2.
Then with UB down 3-2 in the Bottom of the 8th Kyle Figgins drew a walk off a 3-2 pitch and was then lifted for a pinch runner. Jon Mestas was then hit by a pitch, setting up Richards with an RBI opportunity. He would do just that, lifting a two-strike pitch to right field that would bring in the tying run. Ohio again responded, getting a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, before the Buffalo 9-1-2 hitters would go down in order to end it.
Thankfully for Buffalo Central Michigan put Kent down in game three and Toledo dispatched of NIU not once but twice in their games.
The end result is that with six games remaining Buffalo has a game and a half lead over Both Kent and NIU with six to play. UB will face some of their hardest games of the season as they go on the road to take on Miami next weekend before a trip to Bowling Green to finish up conference play.