Bulldogs Win League Opener, 6-2

Butler Baseball 6 Valparaiso 2 : March 25, 2011

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BOX SCORE

PHOTO GALLERY (photos by Olivia Walter)

INDIANAPOLIS - Senior Grant Fillipitch and junior Nick Hladek each had two hits and two RBIs and senior righty Dom Silvestri worked 7.0 effective innings as the Butler baseball team defeated Valparaiso, 6-2, Friday afternoon. The contest was each team's Horizon League opener.

Fillipitch finished 2-for-4 with two runs driven in and delivered a key two-run double in the bottom of the 7th. Hladek finished 2-for-3 with two doubles down the left-field line. 

Silvestri (1-1) was a workhorse, firing 118 pitching in a solid effort. He allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out five and walking two. Valparaiso appeared to have the senior right-hander on the ropes in the top of the 7th when a home run, a triple and a walk gave the Crusaders momentum. Silvestri then struck out Kyle Gaedele, Valpo's all-league outfielder, on a 3-2 pitch. The strikeout was his final batter, and he left the game with a 3-2 lead.

"I got a lot of good defense behind me," Silvestri said. "Luke (Duncan) made several great plays."

After Silvestri finished strong, the Bulldogs made the game's winning plays in the 7th inning. Senior Kyle Waggoner led off the frame by getting hit by a pitch. A single by senior Luke Duncan put runners on the corners with one out. Senior Corey Moylan singled up the middle, scoring Waggoner and giving BU a 4-2 advantage. Next came Fillipitch's two-run double, a shot to left-center on a 2-0 pitch.

"I was just trying to hit the ball hard," Fillipitch said. "I wasn't happy with some of my early at-bats, and he left a fastball out there and I was able to hit it hard."

Freshman Jeff Gunter and junior Brian Padove combined for the final six outs. Padove earned his first career save. In the 9th, Padove got a strikeout looking and slammed the door on the Crusaders with a game-ending double play ball.

Letzter and Moylan also chipped in with two hits each. Valpo's Will Hagel and Ryan O'Gara each went 2-for-4. Tyler Deetjen was the losing pitcher for Valpo, allowing four earned runs over 6.1 innings. The left-hander was efficient, throwing just 77 pitches, but a combination of timely Butler hitting and a superior effort by Silvestri was too much for the Crusaders (2-18, 0-1).

Butler (8-9, 1-0) has Valpo in a doubleheader Saturday, March 26 at noon. Right-handers Jared Wagoner and Mike Hernandez will start on the mound for Butler, while Valparaiso will counter with Damon McCormick and Jon Gulbransen.