UB Bulls conclude non-conference action with doubleheader split against Hofstra

Courtesy of UBBulls.com

WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY – Behind a huge day at the plate from junior Vinny Mallaro, the University at Buffalo baseball team collected a huge 11-3 victory in the first game of the doubleheader before falling 2-1 in the second game against non-conference foe Hofstra on Saturday afternoon at Dutchess Stadium. Mallaro finished off his career-game going 3-for-4 with two home runs, a career-high six RBI and three runs scored.

With the split, the Bulls improved to 17-30 overall and 6-15 in Mid-American Conference action. Hofstra moved to 15-33 overall on the season and 5-15 in CAA action.

GAME ONE – BUFFALO 11, Hofstra 3
Behind a career-game from right fielder Vinny Mallaro, the UB baseball team collected a dominant 11-3 victory in the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday. The Buffalo offense collected 15 hits as Mallaro led the way going 3-for-4 with a career-high two home runs, six RBI and three runs scored.

After a scoreless first inning, the Bulls were able to notch the first run of the game in the second as Mallaro hit a single and Andrew Taft collected a double to give UB runners on second and third for Kyle Brennan. Brennan collected a RBI with a ground out to short to score Mallaro and give the Bulls the 1-0 lead.

Alec Tuohy was able to set the Pride down in order in the bottom half of the second inning before UB collected three more runs in the top of the third to make the score 4-0 in favor of the Bulls. Bobby Sheppard singled and Mike Abrunzo collected his team-leading 37th walk of the season before Mallaro connected on his first homer of the game, a deep three-run shot to left field.

After Hofstra collected three runs over the next two innings to make the score 4-3 in favor of UB, Tuohy settled down and didn’t allow another run over his next three innings of work. Clinging to the one-run lead in the eighth, the Bulls offense exploded for four runs as Mallaro connected on his second homer of the game to deep left field to score Brian Dudek. Taft then dug in after a Chris Kwitzer single and crushed his third homer of the season over the left field fence to make the score 8-3 in favor of the Bulls.

Logan Harasta finished off a scoreless eighth inning on the mound for the Bulls before the offense put the game away with three more runs in the top of the ninth to give them the 11-3 edge. The Bulls loaded the bases with an Alex Thrower infield single, a Bobby Sheppard single and a Dudek hit by pitch before Abrunzo plated Thrower with a single to right field. Mallaro then earned a RBI as he worked a walk with the bases loaded before Taft singled to right to score pinch runner Eddie Edwards III from third.

The Bulls had five batters collect multi-hit games led by Mallaro’s huge three-hit effort. Mallaro now has eight homers on the year, tying him for 10th in UB history for homers in a season. Taft collected his third three-hit game of the season as he went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBI and a run scored while Sheppard notched his team-leading 17th multi-hit game of the season going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. Dudek and Kwitzer each notched two-hit games while scoring a run each in the dominant win.

Mallaro extended his career-long hitting streak to 15 games and reaching base streak to 25 straight games in the win while Sheppard now has a nine-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in 20 straight contests.

Tuohy was great on the mound for the Bulls once again on Saturday as he earned his seventh win of the season (7-3), ranking third in program history for wins in a season. Tuohy went 7.0 innings while allowing just five hits, three runs and striking out two batters. Harasta appeared in his team-leading 24th game of the season and pitched two scoreless innings while striking out three Pride batters.

GAME TWO – BUFFALO 1, Hofstra 2
The UB offense wasn’t able to keep their bats rolling in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon as they were only able to collect seven hits and one run while falling 2-1 to Hofstra.

The Pride started quick in the second game of the doubleheader as they scored a run off UB starter Charlie Sobieraski in the first inning. A single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases in the first before Hofstra earned a sacrifice fly to score the runner from third.

After a pair of scoreless innings from both teams, the Pride made the score 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning as they earned a double and a RBI single from Tom Archer to right field.

Facing a 2-0 deficit, the Bulls were able to get on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning as Alex Thrower doubled to deep left field and came around to score his 22nd run of the season.

After Shawn Dubin pitched a perfect top half of the ninth inning, Taft opened the bottom of the inning with his second single of the afternoon. Eddie Edwards III then stepped in and collected a sacrifice bunt to move pinch runner Brian Wasilewski down to second, giving UB the tying run in scoring position with one out. Ben Haefner entered as a pinch-hitter and earned a walk to give the Bulls two runners on. The Bulls rally ended in the very next at bat as Thrower grounded into a double play to end the game, falling 2-1 in the second game of the doubleheader.

Sobieraski had a solid outing on the mound for the Bulls but it wasn’t enough as he went 5.0 innings while allowing six hits, two runs and striking out a pair. Mike Kaelin was nearly perfect in 3.0 innings of work as he allowed just one hit while whiffing three Pride batters before giving way to Shawn Dubin in the ninth. Dubin closed out a scoreless ninth inning with strikeout.

The Buffalo bats cooled off in the second game as they were only able to collect seven hits. Thrower led the Bulls with two hits and a run scored while Taft went 2-for-3 and Abrunzo went 1-for-4 with the lone RBI for UB. Kwitzer and Dudek each notched one hit in the loss.

Mallaro’s 15-game hitting streak was snapped in the loss but he was able to extend his reaching base streak to a career-high 26 straight games. Sheppard’s nine-game hitting streak came to an end while he extended his career-long reaching base safely streak to 21 games with a pair of walks.

The Bulls will return to the diamond on Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader on the road against Big 4 foe Niagara. The first game of the doubleheader will begin at 2:00 pm followed by the second game a half hour after completion of the first game. Both games will be seven inning games.

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