Entering the 8th inning with a 4-3 lead on Saturday morning, the Bulls baseball team looked to be in pretty good shape. Considering the lead came against the Akron Zips, who had handed UB their first loss of the tournament in a 7-1 drubbing, it seemed even better.
UB was forced to claw back from an early deficit when Akron scored three times in the first three innings, but truthfully it could have been, much, much worse for the Bulls, who turned a double play to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the second, and needed a Matt Pollock over-the-wall catch in the fourth to prevent a grand slam.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>BASE: The umpire originally called the hit a home run, but Pollock runs over and shows him the ball for the third out. What. A. Play.</p>— UB Athletics (@UBAthletics) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBAthletics/statuses/470213663198945281">May 24, 2014</a></blockquote>
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The Bulls rallied in the fourth and the sixth to tie the game before Vinny Mallaro drove in a run in the 7th for a Buffalo lead. Unfortunately, Akron pushed one across with two outs in the 8th, and UB brought in Kevin Hughes to preserve the tie - hopefully until Buffalo could get another run on the board.
From then on, it was mostly heartbreak for UB, who had a runner thrown out at home in the top of the ninth, and got a man to the third in both the tenth and eleventh, but was ultimately unable to score in either situation. On the defensive side, UB turned yet another double play to get out of a jam in the ninth, and by the twelfth their luck and the strength of Kevin Hughes had run out, as Akron loaded the bases, only to walk in the winning run on the next batter.
The loss is disappointing, but the season on the whole was another success for Bulls Baseball. It's the second season in three years UB has advanced to the MAC Semifinals, and with each successful season Coach Torgalski builds a stronger and stronger program in Amherst.
Most importantly, a hearty Thank You! to the eleven seniors who have played their last game for UB, and a loud Go Bulls! as we look forward to next year.