EDINBURG, TX – Despite leading 4-3 heading into the final inning, the University at Buffalo baseball team fell in 10 innings to UTRGV on Saturday night, 5-4. The Bulls have now lost eight straight games as they fall to 4-11 on the year while the Vaqueros improve to 14-7 overall.
The Bulls were able to get on the board in the first inning as Ben Haefner started things off with a single, extending his reaching base safely streak to 15 games. After a Vinny Mallaro walk moved Haefner into scoring position, Kyle Brennan notched a RBI single to center field to give the Bulls the 1-0 lead through one inning. With his single, Brennan extended his hit streak to 13 games.
After a couple of scoreless innings by both teams, the Vaqueros were able to break through on UB starter Charlie Sobieraski with two runs to take the 2-1 lead. UTRGV started the inning with back-to-back walks before a sacrifice bunt gave the home team two runners in scoring position. The Vaqueros then notched a RBI single and a wild pitch scored the second run of the inning.
Buffalo produced two runs in the top of the seventh inning to regain the lead as Ben Vey recorded his first hit of the season, an infield single, before Andrew Taft was hit by a pitch to give UB two runners on. Phillip Tomasulo then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up before a wild pitch allowed Vey to scamper home from third base to tie the game, 2-2. Alex Thrower gave UB the 3-2 edge as he recorded a RBI double to left field, his sixth RBI of the season.
The UB lead didn't last long as the Vaqueros got a base runner with one out in the inning on an error by the Bulls. With a runner on, Sobieraski was replaced on the mound by Vey and he walked his first batter to give the home team two runners on. Austin Siener then singled through the right side of the infield to tie the game, 3-3. Vey then dug deep and struck out the final batter of the inning with the bases loaded.
After Kyle Brennan ended the eighth inning by throwing out the would-be base stealer at second base, Taft opened the top of the ninth by getting hit by the pitch. After Taft was able to move to third after a pair of ground outs, Haefner stepped in and delivered a RBI double to deep right field to give UB the 4-3 lead.
The Vaqueros were able to tie the game, 4-4, in the bottom half of the ninth inning to force extra innings as they were able to put a pair of runners on after a single and a walk with one out. Ivan Estrella then stepped in and delivered a RBI single to right field. Logan Harasta was able to get out of the inning as he forced a line out to second base and he struck out the final batter of the inning swinging.
Brian Dudek was able to open up the 10th inning with a double to right center field before Jeff Palczewski notched a sacrifice bunt to move Dudek to third with one out. After a pitching change by the home team, the Bulls weren't able to bring the go-ahead run across home plate as the teams went to the bottom of the 10th knotted, 4-4.
The Vaqueros ended the game in the bottom of the 10th as Jose Garcia earned a walk with a pair of outs and he was able to steal second base to get into scoring position. Joseph Collazo then stepped in and singled to left field to score Garcia from second base and give UTRGV their fourth straight win, 5-4.
Sobieraski had his second straight strong outing on the mound for the Bulls on Saturday as he went 6.1 innings and allowed just two hits, three runs, two earned runs and struck out three batters in the no decision. Vey went 1.2 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out two batters.
Haefner continued to swing a hot bat for the Bulls as he finished the game going 2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored as he has now reached base safely in all 15 games this season. Brennan finished his night going 2-for-5 with a RBI while Dudek notched a multi-hit game, 2-for-4, in the loss. Taft went hitless in three at bats but scored two runs as he was able to earn a pair of walks.
The Bulls and UTRGV will return to the diamond on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 pm. Buffalo will send junior Shawn Dubin to the mound.