Amherst Audubon Field was officially opened on May 4, 2001, when the University of Buffalo Bulls hosted the Huskies of Northern Illinois.
Sixteen years and 10 days later, the final MAC game at the stadium was played when the Bulls (16-31, 8-13 MAC) hosted the Ohio Bobcats (25-25, 11-10 MAC). Ohio won all three games this weekend, bringing more heartbreak to those from Buffalo.
Friday night, the clubs opened the series in a game that saw a lot of early action. After the Bobcats went down quietly, the Bulls were able to capitalize on a few early mistakes which gave them a 1-0 lead. Ohio was able to get on the board in the third on a bases loaded triple by Michael Klein. The triple was followed by a single to left. They left the top of inning with a 4-1 lead. Kyle Brennan quickly responded with a triple of his own early in the bottom half. Brennan came around to score on a sacrifice groundout, and, just like that, it was 4-3 going to the fourth. Anthony Mrosla homered in the next inning, and that was enough for Ohio to grab game one.
Game two was a battle of the starting pitchers for the first six innings. Ohio broke open the scoring in the second inning on a wild pitch thrown by Buffalo starter Shawn Dubin, and they scored on a sacrifice line out. The lead would be 2-0 to the Bobcats until they added one in the fourth when a leadoff walk came around to score. The Bulls got one back in the bottom of the fifth when Kwitzer scored on a Dudek double. The Bulls ended the inning when Dudek was left on third, keeping the advantage 3-1 in favor of Ohio. The Bobcats would extend their lead to 12-1 with a nine run seventh inning. They scored these runs on seven hits and two errors. The Bobcats took the game, and the series, with a 12-1 win.
Sunday’s matchup, the last ever MAC baseball game at Audubon Field in Buffalo, was a pitcher’s dual the whole way through. The teams game up a combined 12 hits with a combined 14 strikeouts. Seven of those hits came before anyone scored, and a combined eight men were left on base before someone stepped across the plate. The Bobcats picked up the first two runs of the game on a a Frinkler single and a wild pitch thrown by Logan Harasta. Ohio would pick up one more for insurance on a Klein sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth. The Bobcats took the series sweep with a 3-0 victory Sunday.
On Sunday, the Bulls recognized ten seniors. Alex Thrower, Ben Haefner, Alec Tuohy, Brian Dudek, Vinny Mallaro, Tyler Utz, Don Killian, Chris Kwitzer, Kyle Brennan, and Brent Cleland were all recognized before the game. However, there was a different tension in the air. These men were recognized for their efforts as Bulls, but there was a different elephant in the room. Every player on the roster would never play as a Bull at home in Mid-Americn Conference play again.
The Bulls will, however, play one more game on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. against in-state rival Niagara.