UB walks off with doubleheader sweep of Niagara

Courtesy of UBBulls.com

BUFFALO, NY – Sophomore Don Kilian singled to right to plate Vinny Mallaro in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the doubleheader sweep of Niagara for University at Buffalo baseball team on Tuesday night in the second game. The Bulls collected a 9-2 win in the first game of the doubleheader before handing Niagara the 4-3 defeat in extra innings in the second game, Kilian’s second career walk-off hit.

With the wins, UB improves to 16-29 overall and 6-15 in MAC play while the Purple Eagles drop to 16-30-1 overall and 11-10 in conference play.

“It was a great day of baseball today,” said head coach Ron Torgalski. “Our pitchers threw strikes and really gave us a chance out there. Brandon Mumaw was great in the first game and Ben Vey and Logan Harasta were solid in the second game. It was great for us to get two wins today and finally win a close game after having bad luck late in games all season long.”

GAME ONE – BUFFALO 9, Niagara 2

The Bulls used a six-run third inning to overcome an early 2-1 deficit en route to the 9-2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader at Amherst Audobon Field on Tuesday against the Niagara Purple Eagles. Brandon Mumaw was brilliant on the mound for UB as he had a complete game five-hitter while allowing just two runs and striking out four batters as he earned his fourth win of the season.

The Bulls opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Brian Dudek reached on an error by the second baseman before coming around to score after a Vinny Mallaro ground out to shortstop.

The Purple Eagles responded quickly in the top of the third inning with a pair of runs to take the 2-1 lead over the Bulls.

The UB offense however didn’t wait long to respond as they exploded for six runs in the third inning on four hits, the Bulls biggest inning at home this season. After Dudek opened the inning with a double down the left field line, Mike Abrunzo and Mallaro were both hit by pitches before Chris Kwitzer notched a RBI with a sacrifice fly to center. Andrew Taft loaded the bases with a single before Don Kilian collected a RBI single to score Abrunzo. The Bulls scored two runs on a throwing error by the Niagara shortstop before Alex Thrower collected a RBI single and UB scored on a wild pitch to close out a wild inning. UB led the Purple Eagles 7-2 after the third inning.

The Bulls added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning as Abrunzo reached on an error before moving over to third on a Kwitzer single. Taft then dug in and delivered a RBI sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Abrunzo from third, giving UB the 8-2 lead.

Buffalo closed out their scoring in the bottom of the sixth as Abrunzo single, Mallaro hit a double to deep left and Kwitzer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Taft then grounded into a double play but Abrunzo scored from third to give UB the 9-2 advantage, which they held onto for the win.

Eight Buffalo hitters had at least one hit while six had at least one RBI in the win for the Bulls. Thrower and Kilian each notched two hits and a RBI in the game while Kilian also came around to score a run. Abrunzo finished off his game going 1-for-2 with three runs and two walks while Dudek finished 1-for-4 with two runs scored in the win.

Mumaw was great on the mound going 7.0 innings while allowing five hits, two runs and striking out four while throwing under 75 pitches for the game.

GAME TWO – BUFFALO 4, Niagara 3

The Bulls were able to complete the doubleheader sweep of the Purple Eagles in dramatic fashion as Don Kilian notched the game-winning walk-off single to right field to score Vinny Mallaro. Kilian’s game-winner gave the Bulls the 4-3 victory after giving up a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning.

With the game knotted, 3-3, in the bottom half of the eighth inning, the Bulls were looking for a hero and they found one in designated hitter Don Kilian. After Mallaro legged out an infield single to third base to open the inning and Kwitzer moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Kilian dug in and delivered his second career walk-off hit with a sharp single to right field, plating Mallaro from second and giving UB the 4-3 win.

The Purple Eagles were able to jump out to the quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Greg Cullen started the inning with a double before Greg Rodgers singled up the middle to score Cullen from second.

After allowing the first run of the game in the first inning, Ben Vey began to settle in on the mound in his first career start as he notched two quick scoreless innings for the Bulls.

The Bulls were able to get on the board in the bottom of the third inning as Bobby Sheppard and Brian Dudek notched back-to-back singles before coming around to score on Vinny Mallaro’s three-run homer to deep left field, his team-leading sixth of the season. Mallaro took the second pitch of the at bat over the left field fence after getting another life after the umpires overturned a groundout call, saying the ball was fouled off of Mallaro’s foot.

After cruising through five innings, Vey got himself into a jam in the top of the sixth as he allowed a leadoff single and a walk to give Niagara two runners on with no outs. The Purple Eagles then recorded a single to right field to score the runner from second but Mallaro was able to gun out the runner at third base. Niagara then tied the game, 3-3, as Dziados recorded an infield single to score the runner from third.

The Bulls dodged a bullet in the seventh inning as the Purple Eagles tried scoring from second base on a Buffalo error but Sheppard gunned out the potential game-winning run at home to end the inning and the threat for Niagara.

Logan Harasta was magical in his relief appearance as he finished off his first win of the season with a quick eighth inning before Kilian gave the Bulls the win with a walk-off single. Harasta finished off his 23rd appearance of the season going 2.2 inning while allowing just one hit and striking out three batters.

Vey finished off his impressive first career start going 5.1 innings while allowing just four hits, three runs and striking out three Purple Eagles.

Mallaro continued to swing a hot bat for the Bulls as he went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI and two runs scored. The two-hit effort gives Mallaro 13 multi-hit games this season while also extended his hitting streak to 14 games and his reaching base streak to 24 straight, both career-highs.

Dudek finished off his strong effort at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run scored while Sheppard finished 1-for-3 with a run. Kilian came up with the clutch hit and RBI as he finished 1-for-3 with a walk in the win.
The Bulls will return to the diamond this weekend as they travel to take on Hofstra in their final non-conference game of the season. The game on Saturday against the Pride will be a doubleheader with the first game starting at 12:00 pm followed by the second game a half hour after completion of the first and is being played at Hudson Valley Community College.

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