DEKALB, IL – The University at Buffalo baseball team snapped their four-game losing streak on Friday afternoon on the road at Northern Illinois as they collected a dominant 7-2 victory. Junior Alec Tuohy had a dominant outing on Friday as he earned his sixth win on the season while the Bulls improved to 12-21 overall and 5-8 in MAC play.
"Alec Tuohy was solid for us on the mound once again," said head coach Ron Torgalski. "We did a really good job at the plate especially with two outs as we produced several two-out hits, which is what we need to be successful."
The Bulls blew open the game in the seventh inning as they were able to plate four runs with two outs. Bobby Sheppard started the rally with a single up the middle that was followed by a Ben Haefner single that moved Sheppard to third. After Haefner moved to second on a wild pitch, Mike Abrunzo worked a walk to give UB the bases loaded. Vinny Mallaro then came up and delivered a 2-RBI single to right to plate Sheppard and Haefner. Andrew Taft made it 6-1 in favor of the Bulls as he notched his second double to score Abrunzo and Mallaro, giving him 20 RBI on the year.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bulls were able to get on the board first as Taft doubled to right center field to open the inning. Kyle Brennan then stepped in and delivered a hard single up the middle to plate Taft for the first run.
The Huskies responded quickly in the bottom of the second inning with a run of their own. The Huskies worked an inning opening walk that was followed by a double before a ground out to third base scored the game-tying run.
After three scoreless innings, the Bulls regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning as Abrunzo opened the inning with a single and he came around to score the go-ahead run on the Brian Wasilewski double to deep left center. The go-ahead RBI was Wasilewski's second of the season and it was his first career double.
After the Bulls extended their lead to 6-1, the Huskies threatened in the bottom half of the seventh as they got two runners on with one down. UB starter Alec Tuohy settled down and got the next two outs via fly out to get out of the jam.
The Bulls added a run to extend their lead to 7-1 in the eighth inning as Brian Dudek started the inning with a walk and he was moved over to second on an Eddie Edwards III sacrifice bunt. Sheppard stepped in and delivered an RBI single to right field to plate Dudek for his sixth run scored of the season.
Buffalo closer Mike Kaelin replaced Tuohy with two down and two on in the eighth inning and he got out of the jam to send the game to the ninth. In the ninth, the Huskies were able to notch an unearned run off of Kaelin to make the final score 7-2 in favor of the Bulls.
Tuohy continued his dominance on the mound for the Bulls on Friday as he improved to a team-best 6-3 on the year with the win, moving into seventh place in program history for wins in a season. Tuohy went 7.2 innings of six hit ball while allowing just one run and striking out four batters. The crafty righty lowered his ERA to 3.02 on the year and he leads the team with 54 strikeouts.
Taft led the Bulls at the dish going 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBI and a run scored while Mallaro continued his great season going 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Mallaro now has a team-best and career-high 26 RBI and 22 runs on the year. Brennan finished off his nice afternoon going 2-for-4 with a RBI while Sheppard moved his batting average to .329 on the year after his 2-for-5 effort with a RBI and run scored.
The Bulls and Huskies will return to Ralph McKinzie Field for the second of a three-game series on Saturday afternoon at 2:00 pm. Sophomore Charlie Sobieraski (4-3, 4.75 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Bulls while the Huskies will counter with lefty Ryan Olson (2-6, 5.26 ERA).