If Tuesday's home baseball game was the final one in the University at Buffalo athletics history, it certainly was memorable.
Senior second baseman Brian Dudek hit a home run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Bulls a dramatic 10-9 win over Niagara at Amherst Audubon Field. UB is dropping the sport after the completion of this season.
It was fitting that Dudek was a hero because he represents two generations of UB baseball. His father, Gene Dudek, was a star infielder from 1978-81 on UB teams coached by Bill Monkarsh during the most successful era the sport enjoyed at the college. It was Dudek's fourth homer of the season.
UB needed a run in the bottom of the ninth in order to get the chance to win in extra innings. Eddie Edwards III led off the UB ninth with a single. The next two batters were retired, but Ben Haefner was hit by a pitch to keep the inning alive. Vinny Mallaro's single to center scored Edwards with the tying run. Earlier, Mallaro and Andrew Taft homered for UB
UB (17-31) will complete its season with a three-game weekend series against Western Michigan in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Six UB errors meant that only two of Niagara's nine runs were earned. Trevor McCauley and Wyatt Olson each had two RBIs for the Purple Eagles (23-22), who will finish their regular series with a three-game weekend against Canisius with two games on Thursday and one Friday. Niagara goes into the series in fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference standings. The top six teams qualify for the MAAC Championship tournament which will be hosted by Canisius and Niagara at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara Falls May 24-27.
— Louie Spina (@UBLouieSpina) May 16, 2017
UB Tennis coaches honored
The season ended last weekend for the University at Buffalo men's and women's tennis teams with losses in the NCAA tournaments. The recognition and awards keep coming, however.
Men's head coach Lee Nickell was named the Wilson/ITA Northeast Region Coach of the Year after leading the Bulls to a 14-6 record. UB became the first team to go undefeated (7-0) in Mid American Conference matches since 1999. Nickell's team did it with a roster that included six new players and only two returnees from 2016. Hao Sheng Koay was named to the MAC All-Conference team and three of his teammates made the second team. It was the first such honor for Nickell.
Smaranda Stan of the UB women's team was named ITA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Stan helped guide the Bulls their second MAC title and NCAA tournament appearance.
Stan took on an increased role because head coach Kristen Maines was on maternity leave for part of the year. She helped two UB players earn all-MAC honors, Tanja Stojanovska was named to the first team and Chantal Martinez Blanco was named to the second team. A former UB player, Stan played on the 2008 MAC championship team.
Niagara names Smith
Jamie Smith, who mosst recently was a graduate assistant coach at Alfred University, was hired as Niagara's director of basketball operations by women's head coch Jada Pierce.
Daemen's Donahue to run in nationals
Daemen College senior distance runner Mackenzie Donahue (East Aurora) has earned an invitation to compete in the 10,000-meters run in the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championship meet at IMG Academy in Bradenton,Fla. May 25-27.
Niagara Community College (40-8) was ranked No. 2 in this week's National Junior College Division III baseball poll.