INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler baseball team scored 19 runs over two games to split a doubleheader vs. Wright State on Saturday at Bulldog Park. BU jumped on the Raiders early in both games. The Dawgs won the first game 9-5 before losing the second contest 19-10.
For the day, seven different BU players had two hits apiece. Junior Jimmy Risi homered and drove in four runs in game one before sitting out the nightcap. Junior Pat Gelwicks, BU's leading hitter, led the Bulldogs with four runs scored.
Butler and Wright State, both teams now 3-2 in Horizon League play, will conclude their series Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m. Fans are encouraged to get to the park early for a presentation regarding the renovations to Bulldog Park.
Game 1 (Butler 9, Wright State 5)
Risi went 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs and BU jumped on Wright State in the early innings to win 9-5. Gelwicks went 2-for-3 with a walk and three runs scored as Butler scored three runs in each of the first two innings.
Moments after an RBI single by Gelwicks put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0 in the 1st inning, Risi blasted a 1-0 pitch WSU's Lee Valencheck out to right field to make it a 3-0 Butler lead. The left-handed power duo helped Butler to a 6-0 lead in the 2nd inning when Risi snuck a two-run single through the right side of Wright State's infield.
Leading 7-1 in the 4th, the Bulldogs got a pair of runs to go ahead 9-1. Gelwicks singled and scored on a wild pitch and Risi walked and scored in the inning.
Wright State put some late offense together, but nothing that seriously threatened the Bulldogs. A two-run single in the 6th by Kody Krizman and a solo homer by Jake Hibberd in the 9th made the final score a bit closer than the game actually was.
Senior Dom Silvestri pitched 5.1 innings to earn his second win of the season. He gave up nine hits and walked two. Silvestri cruised through his first two innings before allowing a run in the 3rd. He was in good shape until running into trouble in the 6th inning. Junior Joel Leichty pitched the final 3.0 innings to earn his first career save.
Butler pummeled Valencheck for 12 hits and nine runs (eight earned) over 3.1 innings. Raider relievers pitched 4.2 scoreless innings after he left the game.
Game 2 (Wright State 19, Butler 10)
Butler appeared primed to claim a doubleheader sweep over the Raiders until WSU put up 12 runs over the game's three middle innings. Wright State pounded out 23 hits and BU made three costly errors as WSU won a slugfest 19-10.
BU jumped on the Raiders 3-0 in the 1st inning. Three Bulldogs walked and two were hit by pitch by Wright State's Cody Kopilchack. After Wright State put up six runs in the top of the 2nd, Butler got five of its own in the 3rd to take an 8-6 lead.
From there, it was all Wright State. Seven Raider hits and two Bulldog errors led to an eight-run 6th for WSU. A two-run single by Hibberd and a two-run double by Michael Timm were the big hits of the inning. Suddenly, Wright State led 18-8.
Four different Wright State players led the Raiders' hit parade, highlighted by Tristan Moore's 4-for-6 effort. Moore singled three times and hit an inside-the-park homer in the 2nd inning. He reached on an error and a fielder's choice as well, finding himself on base in all six of his plate appearances. Moore scored four runs and drove in four runs.
Timm had four RBIs and Hibberd and Justin Kopale each had three hits. Wright State's Jack Van Horn was the winning pitcher of record, allowing just one walk over 3.2 innings.