Slowly but surly the pieces seems to be coming together for the Buffalo Bulls baseball team.
They have a long way to go if the squad hopes to regain their status as a contender in the MAC but the team is finding pieces of the puzzle which will help them avoid a complete disaster once conference play starts. This weekend the Bulls may have found their closer and began to build their "weekend rotation".
The weekend rotation is the term used to describe the pithers who will start MAC conference games, which are almost always a Friday though Sunday affair. This weekend McGee and Magovney each pitched well in winning efforts. For both pitchers it was their first win of the year.
Along with Ben Hartzyou may be looking at your three starters.
Mike Kaelin is securing his spot as UB's go to reliever. He earned a two saves this weekend and may spend time with Brent Cleland as one of the weekday pitchers who play out of conference games later this season.
As much as things are coming together still UB was a victim of struggles in the middle innings.
In game one, UB jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning as Sheppard singled to right field to score Sinay while Brian Dudek advanced to third after a pair of walks. After a double play by the Bulls, Vey doubled to left field and Sobieraski platted two runners, Vey and Sheppard, with a single to center field. The Bulls made the score 5-1 in the second when Mallaro advanced to first on an error by the third basemen, scoring Sinay from third.
Dayton got back into the game in the second inning as they were able to score three runners in the inning, making the score 5-4 in favor of the Bulls.
Then in the 4th and 5th innings dayton tacked on three more and UB's bats went cold. The result was a 7-5 decision in favor of Dayton.
UB took a measure of revenge in game two behind the pitching of Anthony Magnove and the bat of Chris Kwitzer
In game two it was once again UB striking first and hard. This time in the form of a four run 4th inning started off by Freshman Ben Vey. Two batters later Justin Gonzalez was walked to loaded the bases for UB and Nick Sinay singled to right center field, scoring two. Brian Dudek then finished off the inning for UB a RBI single to center field, making the score 4-0 in favor of the Bulls.
Magovney, who earned his first win of the season held the Flyers at bay over the next three innings as he entered the seventh inning with the 4-0 lead. The Flyers finally got on the board in the seventh as they started the inning with a double, a walk and a triple which scored two Dayton batters and chased Magovney from the mound. Kaelin entered the game and allowed a sacrifice fly before getting out of the inning with UB leading 4-3.
UB was able to add a run in the eighth inning and Nick Sinay helped give UB the three run lead in the ninth as he opened up the inning with a walk and then stole second base. Eventually Bobby Sheppard drive Sinay in with a sacrifice fly.
Kaelin shut the door in the ninth to give the Bulls the split as he struck out a pair of Flyers and induced a ground ball out to third. Vey finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles and a pair of runs scored.
Sophomore Brent Cleland looked good on the mound early on as he struck out the side swinging in the first and retired Dayton in order in the second. The Bulls were able to get on the board first in the third inning as Justin Gonzalez and Nick Sinay earned back-to-back walks and Brian Dudek ran out a bunt down the third base line for a single, loaded the bases. Freshman Bobby Sheppard then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Gonzalez for the opening run of the contest.
Dayton used their half of the third inning to drop 6 runs off Cleland. The Flyers scored a pair of runs on a home run and a pair of runs on a triple while platting one on a single and one on a sac fly in the inning.
The Bulls clawed and scratched their way into the game, eventually tying it at 6 during the top half of the 5th.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, the Flyers came right back and scored three runs in the bottom half of the fifth. They chased Cleland from the game but the Bulls had a little more fight.
Buffalo made the game interesting in the seventh as they were trailing by three. Kwitzer singled and then advanced to second base on a passed ball before Edwards singled to center to plate Kwitzer for his season-best third run of the game, making the score 9-7 in favor of the Flyers.
In the final game Mike McGee cruised to his first victory of the year giving up just one hit and no runs through the first three innings. In the fourth inning, McGee ran into some problems as he allowed two runners to cross the plate.
After 4.2 innings of action, and with a 3-2 lead, McGee gave the ball to Alec Tuohy who pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball with three strikeouts. Mike Kaelin entered in the seventh and struck out all three Flyers en route to his second save in as many days, lowering his ERA on the season to 0.96. McGee earned his first win of the season.