INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Butler won two games over Cleveland State Saturday afternoon, and in the process locked up the No. 5 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Baseball Championship. BU won a pitchers’ duel, 1-0, in game one before outlasting the Vikings 9-5 in the second game.
Butler and Cleveland State played to a scoreless draw until the bottom of the 9th before junior Grant Fillipitch delivered the game-winning hit. Junior Luke Duncan reached on a fielder’s choice and with one out advanced to second base on a wild pitch. His advancement to second was a big play because it set the stage for Fillipitch, who smacked a base hit into right-center. Duncan scored and a Bulldog celebration ensued.
Seniors Joe Ochs and Tyler Szymczak carved through the Vikings lineup, allowing just three hits and five total baserunners. Ochs allowed just two hits and a walk over 6.0 innings while fanning three. Szymczak relieved Ochs and got the win, allowing one hit over 3.0 innings. Only one Viking baserunner reached third base the entire game.
Duncan and sophomore Griffin Richeson led the Dawgs in game one, with Duncan going 2-for-5 with a double and Richeson finishing 2-for-4.
With the game one victory, coupled with Valparaiso’s 9-8 win over UIC, Butler secured the No. 5 spot in the league standings. This fact rendered game two of the DH inconsequential, but Butler would finish the regular season on a high note.
Freshman Pat Gelwicks came off the bench to lead Butler, going 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Infielders Bobby Mosser and Jack Krause each had two RBIs.
CSU (12-43, 5-20 HL) scored two runs in the top of the 8th to pull within 6-5 but the Bulldogs, but BU answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning to put the game out of reach. Two walks and a single by Gelwicks loaded the bases for sophomore Brian Padove, who was hit by a pitch. Krause was the next batter, and he hit a two-run single to center that gave the Bulldogs the 9-5 margin.
Junior Dom Silvestri (3-1) made a solid start, working 6.0 innings and yielding just one earned run. He scattered seven hits and struck out six.
Butler will play No. 4 seed Valparaiso Wednesday, May 26 at 11 a.m. Central time (12 p.m. ET) at The U.S. Steel Yard in Gary, Ind.