Courtesy of UBBulls.com
BUFFALO, NY – Behind a career-high eight strikeouts by senior left-handed pitcher Brandon Mumaw, the University at Buffalo baseball team collected their second straight victory on Tuesday afternoon at Amherst Audobon Field against cross-town rival Canisius, 4-2. With the win, the Bulls improved to 14-26 overall and 6-12 in MAC play while Mumaw collected his third victory of the season.
“Brandon Mumaw did a great job today of pounding the strike zone and keeping Canisius off balance,” said head coach Ron Torgalski. “I thought today was one of our most complete games. The pitching was great, the defensive played well and then at the plate we did a good job until late.”
The Golden Griffins were able to get on the scoreboard early as they were able to notch a first inning run off Mumaw. Anthony Massicci opened the game with a double to right field before stealing third base and coming around to score on a ground out to the pitcher.
The Bulls responded quickly in the bottom half of the first inning with a run of their own as Bobby Sheppard opened the inning with a double to right field. After a pair of outs, Vinny Mallaro stepped in and ripped a hard liner to deep left center field to plate Sheppard for the tying run.
After a scoreless top half of the second inning, the Bulls made the score 2-1 in favor of the home team as Charlie Sobieraski, making his first start of the season at third base, hit a sharp single to right field. Brian Wasilewski moved Sobieraski to second and earned first on an error by the second baseman before Andrew Taft hit a deep fly out to right to advance Sobieraski to third. Alex Thrower then dug in and collected a RBI on a fielder’s choice, allowing Sobieraski to score his first run of the season.
Buffalo extended their lead out to 3-1 in the fourth inning as Kyle Brennan and Wasilewski collected singles before Taft stepped in and hit a hard single to right field to plate Brennan from second, his 21st RBI of the season.
Mumaw cruised through the fifth as he got out of the inning on a pickoff after letting up a inning opening single. Canisius was able to score a run in the sixth as they earned a single and a hit by pitch before moving both runners into scoring position with a double steal. Alex O’Donnell then collected a RBI as he grounded out to second, making the score 3-2 in favor of UB.
The Bulls wouldn’t let the Golden Griffins get any closer as they scored an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Sheppard and Brian Dudek hit back-to-back singles before Mallaro crushed a single to left field to plate Sheppard from second and give the Bulls the 4-2 lead.
Ben Vey came into the game in the eighth inning and shut down the Griffs as he earned a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to secure the lead to the ninth inning. In the ninth, Logan Harasta came on for his 21st appearance of the season and made quick work of the Golden Griffins as he forced a double play after allowing a lead-off single and then struck out the final batter of the game swinging to earn his second save of the season.
Mumaw was magical on the mound for the Bulls as he went 7.0 innings and allowed just six hits, two earned runs and struck out a career-best eight batters. Vey earned two strikeouts in his inning of work while Harasta earned his second save and lowered his team-leading ERA to 2.57 on the season.
Mallaro led the Bulls at the plate once again on Tuesday as the power hitter finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, his team-leading eighth multi-RBI game this season. Mallaro is now riding a nine-game hitting streak to go along with reaching base in a career-high 19 straight games.
Sheppard continued his great season at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, his team-leading 14th multi-hit game of the season. Sheppard has also reached base in 14 straight games while raising his team-leading batting average to .329 on the year. Brennan stayed hot for the Bulls as he went 1-for-4 with a run scored while Sobieraski finished 1-for-4 with a run scored in his first start of the season in the field for UB. Dudek went 1-for-4 in the game as he extended his hitting streak to five straight games, a season-long streak.
The Bulls return to the diamond on Friday evening as they head to Kent State to take on the Flashes at 6:00 pm. Alec Tuohy (6-3, 2.85 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bulls for game one on Friday. Game two of the three-game series will take place on Saturday at 4:00 pm before the two teams wrap up the series on Sunday at 1:00 pm.