AKRON, Ohio - The University of Akron (21-19, 9-7 MAC) baseball team dropped the opening game of a three-game Mid-American Conference series to the University at Buffalo (18-16, 9-6 MAC) by a final score of 3-2 on Friday afternoon at Amherst Audubon Field.
Sophomore John Valek III provided Akron with a strong start to open the series, turning in 6.0 innings with two runs - one earned - and a strikeout. He has held opponents to one run or less on five occasions this season. Valek's record fell to 3-4 with the loss.
The first two innings of the game were quiet as starters on both sides posted zeros on the scoreboard. However, Buffalo broke the scoreless tie after Tyler Mautner singled in Jimmy Topps to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third.
The Bulls one-run advantage wouldn't last long with the Zips striking back for one run in the fourth on a RBI single to left-center by junior Matt Rembielak. Sophomore Kris Simonton scored on the play after hitting a leadoff single and advancing to second on an error by Buffalo's right fielder Nick Sinay.
Buffalo was able to regain the lead at 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, as Mautner hit his second RBI single of the afternoon, driving in Matt Pollock who reached base on an error earlier in the frame.
Valek held the Bulls scoreless in the sixth, before giving way to freshman reliever Josh Davis. Davis worked a scoreless seventh, but was tagged with one run in the eighth giving Buffalo a 3-1 lead. Freshman Evan Jensen came out of the bullpen to get one out in the eighth to end the Bulls' threat.
The Zips tacked on one run in the ninth to make it a one-run game on a RBI groundout from Daulton Mosbarger. Simonton scored from third on the groundout, bringing the game to its final score of 3-2.
Simonton led the team with two hits and two runs scored. Mosbarger had a pair of base hits, including his team-leading eighth double of the season. Rembielak added one hit, one RBI and one walk in the loss.
Akron and Buffalo will matchup tomorrow at 1 p.m., for game two of the three-game set. Live stats will be available through UB here.