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Buffalo Opens up MAC Play with a series win against NIU

Buffalo Baseball opened up MAC play this weekend on the road against last seasons MAC West champions. The game against NIU had to be moved to Chicago State and Wheaton College due to the field conditions in Dekalb. Buffalo, who has still not had a home game started conference play by winning

Game 1

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Buffalo (8-7, 0-1) 0 1 0 0 1 3 1 3 0 9 7 3
Northern Illinois (3-15-1, 1-0) 0 2 2 3 0 4 0 4 X 15 10 0

Things did not start off well for the Bulls as the team fell behind big early, and each time they managed to close the gap the NIU offense fired back in the bottom of the frame. In the end UB dropped the contest to NIU by a score of a 15-9.

Tyler Mautner stated the scoring with a solo home run in the top of the second but NIU would score seven unanswered uns over the next three innings setting up the Huskies with a 7-1 lead entering the fifth inning. The back breaker may have been a three run fourth inning which included only one NIU hit.

Mike Burke would score UB's second run on another solo shot then the Bulls got going in the sixth inning.

Topps took a lead off walk and the next batter Nick Sinay also walked putting the Bulls on first and second with no outs. Matt Pollock hit a sac fly scoring Topps. NIU would hit a batter would score two more for Buffalo.

But in the bottom of the frame NIU would score four more runs.

UB closed to 2 runs again in the top of the eighth but once again NIU answered right back with four more runs.

Mike McGee took the loss for Buffalo after allowing seven runs (four earned) over three innings. Ben Hartz would also allow seven runs in his four innings out of the bullpen, and Tyler Wilson would allow a run in his lone inning.

Game 2:

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Buffalo (9-7, 1-1) 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 8 1
Northern Illinois (3-16-1, 1-1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 5 0

Anthony Magovney and Kevin Hughes put together a strong pitching performance to help UB get their first conference win of the season. This was not the barn burner put up in game one, instead UB gutted out a tough 3-2 win

At the plate from Matt Pollock's two run single in the first inning was nearly all the Magovney needed. Jimmy Topps led off the game with a walk and stole second on a strikeout. With two outs in the inning, Tyler Mautner would draw a walk and Thomas Richards would follow with an infield single to load up the bases. Pollock would single to right to make it a 2-0 game.

The Bulls got what ended up being the game winning run in the fifth inning, using small ball to tack on a run for a 3-0 lead. Mike Scarcello led off with a single, and after being sacrificed over to second, he would come home on a two-out single from Mike Burke.

Magovney would find himself in several binds. The worst of them in the seventh when NIU loaded the bases with no outs. Thats when Kevin Hughes came in to save the day. Hughes forced a hard line drive out which prevented a score and the struck out the last out of the seventh.

The Huskies would get a run in the bottom of the eighth to make it a 3-2 game, but in the ninth Hughes would retire the home side in order with three ground outs for his second save of the season.

Game 3:

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Buffalo (10-7, 2-1) 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 4 4
Northern Illinois (3-17-1, 1-2) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 2

The rubber match between the schools turned out to be another low scoring contest where UB needed ealy pitching to work through a close win. Buffalo Starter mike Burke pitched seven innings surrendering just one run despite four UB fielding errors.

Buffalo scored three runs on four hits. Nick Sinay would start the scoring for UB with a lead off double followed by a steal. Matt Pollock was then hit by a pitch and with runners on the corners Tyle Mautner hit a single to score Sinay. Two batters later a Kwitzer sac bunt scored Pollock.

UB would add one more in the next inning when Dudek was brought in by a Jimmy Topps sacrifice fly.

NIU scored on on Burke in the 7th but the UB starter escaped with no other damage and handed the game off to Cory Folk who faced seven batters in two innings, surrendering a single hit.

Buffalo now stands at 10-7 with a 2-1 conference mark. Their next conference series is next weekend at home against Ball State.