LEXINGTON, VA - With help from a couple of freshmen pitchers on the defensive end, UMES tried to come back and got the tying run on deck in the ninth but fell short 9-6 to Buffalo to open the VMI Tournament on Saturday. UMES falls to 1-2 and Buffalo goes to 2-2.
UMES struck in the opening half-inning, with Malik Wylie (Bronx, N.Y.) lining a single up the middle off Anthony Magovney (1-0). Two batters later after reaching third on a pickoff error, Wylie scored on a Byron Campbell (Waldorf, Md.) ground ball single up the middle to make it 1-0 UMES.
Buffalo got the lead in the following half-inning, using a Jason Kanzler solo home run and a Tyler Mautner RBI double off Jesus Hernandez (Haverstraw, N.Y.) (0-1) for a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the second with one on and an out, Jon Mestas homered to make it 4-1 Buffalo.
The Hawks got a run back in the top of the third. With two out and nobody on, Jeffrey Fleetwood (Delmar, Del.) hit a double to the right-center gap. Next batter, Brandon Schott (Warren, Pa.) grounded a double down the third base line to score Fleetwood and bring UMES within two 4-2.
But the Bulls countered with four runs in the bottom of the third, including a two-run double by Mike Scarcello, to make their lead 8-2. They tacked another run in the fourth on an RBI single by Mike Burke.
With one away in the top of the fifth, Stephen Bull (Millsboro, Del.) drew a walk and advanced to third on a Campbell single to center. Next batter, Fleetwood singled to center to score Bull and give UMES its third run, making the score 9-3 Buffalo.
After coming in for the first time in his collegiate career in the third, Chris Lopez
(Vineland, N.J.) has a solid debut, earning scoreless innings in the
fifth and the sixth, concluding the day with just one run in
J.P. Black (Elkton, Md.) took over in the bottom of the seventh on the hill for UMES. After the Bulls got second and third with one out, Black struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning unscathed.
Campbell led off the top of the eighth with a double down the left field line, taking third on a ground out next batter. After Schott reached on an infield single, Joshua James (Milford, Del.) hit a sacrifice fly to deep center, scoring Campbell and bringing UMES closer 9-4.
Black pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the deficit at five. Though Connor Breslin (Saylorsburg, Pa.) earned his first career hit with UMES in the ninth, the Hawks had no on and two outs in the ninth. Wylie and Bull singled to put first and second. Campbell hit a shot to third that went under the third baseman's leg, scoring Wylie and Bull and putting Campbell on second to make it 9-6. But the Hawks could not get closer and fell to the Bulls.
Hernandez got the loss with eight runs and three strikeouts in 2.1 innings thrown. The UMES freshmen pitchers of Lopez and Black combined to go five-and-two-thirds with just one run allowed.
The win went to Buffalo starter Magovney, who went six innings with three runs allowed.
Campbell finished the day going 3-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI. Wylie, Bull and Schott all multi-hit, with Wylie getting two runs and the second two each getting an RBI.
For Buffalo, Kyle Figgins went 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Scarcello got two hits in five at bats, including a double and two runs batted in.
UMES returns to Gray-Minor Stadium tomorrow at 4 p.m. to take on tournament host VMI.