by Amy Moritz
A sparkling performance from Mike Burke on the mound lifted the University at Buffalo to the Mid-American Conference semifinal round.
Burke threw a complete-game shutout as the Bulls defeated Miami (Ohio) 4-0 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio Friday afternoon.
The Bulls (26-25) will face Akron at 9:30 Saturday needing to win twice in the double elimination tournament to bounce the Zips and move on to the championship round.
Burke scattered seven hits and striking out four to give him the program's modern era record of 78 strikeouts in a season. He threw 102 pitches, 75 of them for strikes in an effective outing.
But then again, Burke has played well in elimination games for the Bulls. The senior from Cleveland is 3-0 in MAC tournament games allowing just two earned runs in 26 innings pitched. All three wins were in elimination games.
Last year he threw eight shutout innings against Northern Illinois while in 2012 he gave up two runs in eight innings to Western Michigan.
The Bulls rode the strength of Burke's arm, nursing a 1-0 lead it took in the first inning on a sacrifice fly from Tyler Mautner.
In the eighth, Matt Pollock had an RBI double and scored on an error by the Miami third baseman.
The Bulls added one more in the ninth on an RBI single from Brian Dudek.
taggedMid-American Conference | University at Buffalo