Milwaukee, Wis. - Butler found plenty of ways to get runners on base but would be unable to bring anyone across, as the host Panthers fought their way out of several jams en route to a 6-0 shut-out win over the Bulldogs in the regular season finale on Friday (May 15) afternoon at Henry Aaron Field.
The Bulldogs had plenty of opportunities to put runs on the board, loading the bases on three occasions, but each time Milwaukee managed to escape damage.
Butler put runners on each base with one out in the first, as Rick Betsch reached on a one-out fielding error before Grant Fillipitch and Michael Letzter drew back-to-back walks. The Panthers would come away unscathed, however, getting a strikeout before ending the inning on a groundout.
The Bulldogs found themselves in prime scoring position again in the fourth, loading the bases with two down after Kyle Schultz led off with a single and both Jason Jamerson and Bobby Mosser were hit by pitches, but Milwaukee earned an inning-ending strikeout to quell the threat.
The offense continued to toy with potential scoring opportunities, as back-to-back one-out singles by Luke Duncan and Betsch put runners on first and second in the seventh, but a fly-out and inning ending strikeout doomed the chance.
By the time the seventh inning ended, the Panthers found themselves in front by a 6-0 count, but the Bulldogs weren't done trying to break up the shut-out. Schultz led off the eighth with a double to left center before Colin Ziegel drew a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs. Milwaukee managed to get Alex Montagano on a pop-up to short, but Jamerson legged out a single to second base to load the bases once again with just one away.
As had happened so many times before in the game, though, Milwaukee eluded the threat once more, as Panther right-hander Cameron Amsrud induced a first-pitch, inning-ending double play to strand the Bulldogs' 10th, 11th and 12th runners on base of the contest.
Butler will open up the Horizon League Championship in the play-in game as the No. 7 seed and will take on the No. 6 seed on Tuesday (May 19) beginning at 3:00 p.m. at the Pipe Yard in Lorain, Ohio. The winner will move on to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and face the No. 3 seed on Wednesday (May 20) at 3:00 p.m.