BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University of Akron (21-20, 9-8 MAC) baseball team fell to the University at Buffalo (19-16, 10-6 MAC) by a final score of 6-3 on Saturday in game two of the three-game Mid-American Conference series at Amherst Audubon Field.
Sophomore JT Brubaker made the start for the Zips, and got into a bit of trouble in his first inning of work. In the bottom of the first, Brubaker allowed four walks and two runs – on a two-run single by Thomas Richards – to put UA in an early 2-0 hole.
Akron went scoreless in the second, but Brubaker settled the Bulls offense to post a zero in the bottom half.
Down two runs, the Zips staged a three-run rally in the top of the third. Sophomore Billy Salem and redshirt junior Devan Ahart recorded back-to-back RBI singles to right field to bring in a pair of runs and tie the game. Junior Matt Rembielak capped off the rally with an RBI hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded, giving Akron a 3-2 advantage.
The 3-2 Akron lead remained until the bottom of the fourth when Buffalo evened the score on a Matt Pollock RBI single to right-center. The Bulls regained the lead at 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth when Jimmy Topps reached on a fielder's choice, which allowed Kyle Figgins to score from third.
Both teams went scoreless in the sixth and seventh inning, but Buffalo added two insurance runs in the eighth off of Akron reliever Zach Beaver. Beaver finished the afternoon with 3.1 innings, six hits, three runs allowed and two strikeouts. Freshman Evan Jensen came out of the bullpen to relieve Beaver, recording two outs with a strikeout to end the frame.
Akron went scoreless in the ninth inning to make it a 6-3 Buffalo win. Brubaker was handed the loss, dropping his season record to 3-4. He tossed 4.0 innings with six hits, three runs, six walks and five strikeouts.
Ahart led the Zips offense with a 3-for-4 performance and one RBI. Salem registered his third multi-hit game in the past seven contests, while also totaling a run scored and an RBI. Freshman James Meeker III contributed a run, hit and walk in the loss.
The Zips and Bulls will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m., on Amherst Audubon Field.