Ball State sneaks past UB in extra innings, 4-2

Courtesy of UBBulls.com

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo baseball team dropped their third straight Mid-American Conference game in extra innings on Friday afternoon to the Ball State Cardinals by the score of 4-2 in 10 innings. With the loss, the Bulls drop to 12-25 overall and 5-11 in MAC play on the year.

The first two innings of the game went by quick as Alec Tuohy capped off the second inning with three straight strikeouts, all swinging. The Cardinals were able to get on the board in the third inning with a pair of runs to take the 2-0 lead. After a walk started the inning, Tuohy committed an error on a sacrifice play that gave the Cardinals two on with no outs. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Alex Call singled up the middle to score the runner from third before Alex Maloney doubled to score the second run of the game.

After a scoreless fourth inning, the Bulls were able to tie the game at two as they crossed a pair of runs across home plate via walks. Mike Abrunzo opened the inning with his 31st walk of the season before Andrew Taft singled to left field and Kyle Brennan worked a walk to load the bases. After a strikeout gave the Bulls two outs, Eddie Edwards III collected a RBI as he earned a walk to allow Abrunzo to cross home. Bobby Sheppard then stepped in and earned himself a walk and a RBI to score Taft from third and tie the game, 2-2.

In the seventh inning, Edwards III singled through the left side before Brian Dudek singled to left field to advance Edwards to third base with two outs. Chris Kwitzer then dug in but he was not able to deliver the go-ahead run as he struck out swinging to end the threat.

Logan Harasta entered the game in the eighth and walked his first batter. After a passed ball and stolen base got the runner to third, Harasta worked hard and forced a pop up and a strikeout looking to end the Cardinals threat in the eighth.

After Harasta fired a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, the Bulls had their chance to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. Brennan opened the inning with a hard hit double to deep center field, giving the Bulls the winning run in scoring position with no outs. The next two Bulls earned outs before the Cardinals intentionally walked Sheppard to give UB runners on first and second. Dudek then hit a fly ball to left field to end the threat and force extra innings.

The Cardinals collected a pair of runs in the 10th inning to put the Bulls away as Roman Baisa singled and then advanced to third after stealing second base and forcing an errant throw into center. Call then stepped in and drilled a triple to left center to score Baisa before Caleb Stayton collected his 59th RBI of the season with a single to score Call from third and make the score 4-2 in favor of the visitors.

The Bulls had their last chance to tie or win the game in the 10th inning but they let a Vinny Mallaro double go for not as they fell 4-2 on Friday. The double for Mallaro extended his hitting streak to six games and his on base streak to 16 straight games.

Tuohy pitched excellent once again for the Bulls on Friday as the righty went 7.0 innings and allowed four hits and one earned run while striking out four batters in the no decision. He lowered his ERA to 2.85 on the season and he has now collected 58 strikeouts in 72.2 innings of work.

The Bulls were only able to muster six hits for the game as Edwards III finished off his game going 1-for-3 with a RBI, his fourth of the season. Sheppard collected his 17th RBI of the season as he walked twice while Abrunzo and Taft each went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the loss.

The Bulls and Cardinals will return to Amherst Audobon Field on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm for the second game of a three-game set. Sophomore Charlie Sobieraski (4-4, 5.20 ERA) will take the mound for the Bulls.

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