Four-run second inning helps propel Buffalo to 5-4 win at Canisius

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BUFFALO, NY – Behind a four-run second inning, the University at Buffalo baseball team was able to collect a 5-4 non-conference victory over Big 4 foe Canisius on Tuesday afternoon at Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo. Brandon Mumaw collected the win on the mound for the Bulls as they improved to 11-17 overall and 4-5 in MAC play.

“We got a great effort from Brandon Mumaw on the mound and that was the difference as he went six strong innings and allowed just two runs,” said head coach Ron Torgalski. “The four-run second inning was big for us but the great effort on the mound today from our pitchers helped get us this win.”

The Golden Griffins were able to score the first run of the game in the second inning as they opened up the inning with back-to-back singles. After Brandon Mumaw struck out the next Canisius batter, he walked the next batter and then Jack Massa hit a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Bulls responded quickly in the top of the third inning as they were able to plate four runs. Bobby Sheppardsingled to right field and then moved to second after a balk before Mike Abrunzo earned his second walk of the game to give UB two runners on. After as pair of UB outs, Andrew Taft hit a sharp single up the middle to score Sheppard and then Don Kilian hit a deep drive to right which was mishandled by the right fielder and allowed Abrunzo and Taft to score, making it 3-1 in favor of the Bulls. Kyle Brennan then hit a sharp single to third base where the third baseman rushed a throw and allowed Kilian to score from second while Brennan moved over to second on the error.

The Griffs drew within two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as they started a two-out rally with a single. After what looked like a third strike that turned into a fourth ball, the Griffs notched an RBI single to make the score 4-2.

The Bulls got a run back in the sixth inning after starting the inning off with two quick outs. Ben Haefner started the rally with a single up the middle before Eddie Edwards III blooped a single into right field and Sheppard earned a walk to load the bases. Abrunzo then dug in and worked an RBI walk forcing in Haefner from third, making the score 5-2 in favor of the Bulls.

The game got interesting in the bottom half of the seventh inning as the Golden Griffins loaded the bases on reliever Blair Lakso with two outs in the inning. Adam Tricarico then provided the Golden Griffins with a two-RBI single to right field to plate a pair of runs and make the score 5-4 in favor of the visitors.

The Bulls went to their bullpen for the final two innings to close out the victory as Ben Hartz saw the mound for just his fourth time this season in the eighth inning and made quick work of the Golden Griffins to preserve the one-run lead heading into the ninth. In the ninth, Logan Harasta made his team-leading 15th appearance and closed out his first career save as he got three straight outs to end the game and give UB their 11th victory of the season.

Taft led the Bulls at the plate as he collected his second three-hit game and 10th multi-hit game of the season, going 3-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored. Abrunzo finished off his game going 0-for-2 at the dish but he earned a season-high three walks, a RBI and a run while Haefner went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored in the win. Vinny Mallaro put a couple nice swings on the ball as he finished 1-for-5, extending his team-best hitting streak to eight straight games.

Mumaw had his best outing as a Bull on Tuesday as he went 6.0 innings while allowing five hits, two runs and striking out a season-high five batters. Mumaw improved to 2-4 on the year while Hartz earned a hitless eighth inning and Harasta collected his first career save. Harasta has pitched 24.2 innings so far this season and owns a team-best 2.19 ERA.

The Bulls return to the diamond on Friday at 3:00 pm as they welcome MAC foe Miami (OH) to Amherst Audobon Field for their home opener. Junior Alec Tuohy (5-2, 2.98 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bulls. The two teams will play on Saturday and Sunday at 1:00 pm to close out the three-game series.

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