INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Freshman pitcher Jared Earle was effective into the 7th inning and the Bulldogs ripped off 17 hits as the Butler baseball team defeated Dayton, 9-7, Wednesday afternoon at Bulldog Park. BU jumped out to a 9-0 in the first four innings and held on to finish off the Flyers in the top of the 9th.
Butler had seven extra-base hits in one of its best performances of the season. Juniors Luke Duncan and Grant Fillipitch and senior Kyle Schultz each had three hits and junior Corey Moylan drove in three runs. Moylan hit a two-run home run and junior Michael Letzer added a solo shot, with both coming in the bottom of the 4th.
Earle (2-1) was in command for most of the afternoon, holding Dayton scoreless for the first six innings. He scattered six hits, and didn’t allow a base hit until the top of the 4th inning. He struck out four and walked two.
Earle didn’t find any trouble until Butler had a 9-0 lead in the top of the 7th. Dayton scored a run and loaded the bases against Earle when Butler made a pitching change. The Flyers got a bases loaded double that scored three runs, and those runs were charged to Earle. But his pitching performance definitely set the tone for a Bulldog victory.
"We needed somebody on our pitching staff to step up, and Jared Earle did a great job," head coach Steve Farley said. "It was crucial for him to give us good innings. This is a win that we'll look back on later in the season and we'll say this was a key win that got us re-focused."
BU (9-20) strung together two singles and two doubles to pick up two runs in the bottom of the 1st for an early lead. The Dawgs added three runs in the bottom of the 2nd, with a pair of doubles by junior Jack Krause and freshman Andrew Eckhardt and an RBI triple by Duncan the big blows. After Letzter walked and scored on a sac fly by Krause in the bottom of the 3rd, BU owned a 6-0 lead.
Moylan and Letzter delivered big hits in the 4th inning. After a Fillipitch single, Moylan hit a blast just over the fence in left centerfield to make it 8-0. Two batters later, Letzter pulled a pitch out to left.
Dayton (16-17) scored seven runs late in the game to make it interesting, but senior Jamie Feldheiser slammed the door shut in the 9th for his first save of the season.
The Bulldogs host a three-game series against Milwaukee this weekend, with game one set for Friday, April 16 at 3 p.m. Saturday will feature a noon doubleheader, with members of the Butler basketball team in attendance to throw out the first pitch.