March 25, 2012

Wright State, Braun Stifle Bulldogs

INDIANAPOLIS - Wright State head coach Rob Cooper was ejected following a crazy play that ended the 6th inning. Cooper's Raiders answered with an eight-run top of the 7th to pull away in a 14-1 win over Butler on Sunday afternoon.

Raider starting pitcher Taylor Braun threw a complete game, striking out seven Bulldogs and scattering eight hits. The lone run he allowed came in the 6th on the play that got Cooper run by first base umpire John Johnston.

WSU, the defending Horizon League champion, led 6-0 in the 6th inning when Butler loaded the bases with one out. Sophomore Marcos Calderon blasted a long drive to right field, where Tristan Moore made a sensational catch with his back to the field. Junior Pat Gelwicks was on 3rd base and scored, just before Moore threw to 1st base to double off a Butler baserunning mistake. Cooper protested the play and was ejected. 

Moments later, the Raiders (11-10, 4-2) put up eight runs in the top of the 7th to take a 14-1 lead. The inning featured three walks, a hit batter and an error. Sam Picchiotti and Jake Hibberd each had back-to-back to run singles and Moore doubled and scored.

Moore was just 1-for-6 on the day, but made his presence felt in right field. In addition to his highlight-reel catch in the 6th, Moore made a bullet throw from right to get junior Radley Haddad on a play at the plate. 

Hibberd was 3-for-6 with five RBIs on the day. Picchiotti was 3-for-4 and scored three runs. Ryan Ashe drove in three runs and Corey Davis was 3-for-6 with two doubles.

Butler (12-12, 3-3), which used six pitchers, was led by Haddad 3-for-4 effort. Freshman Austin Miller added two hits. Of BU's six pitchers, junior Chase Byerly pitched 2.2 innings and didn't yield a run. He gave up two hits and struck out one. Senior Jordan Goldschmidt pitched 2.1 innings and allowed just one run. His relief of starting pitcher Derek Higgins kept Butler close to WSU until the middle innings.

For the weekend, Wright State tallied 38 runs on 50 hits. After two league weekends, the Horizon League standings are also a bit jumpled at the top. WSU, UIC and Valparaiso are all 4-2, while Butler is right behind at 3-3. Milwaukee is 2-4 and Youngstown State is 1-5.

Butler will play at home Tuesday, March 27 vs. Bellarmine at 3:30 p.m. The game pits the Bulldogs against former assistant coach Matt Tyner, who is now the head coach at the D-II school in Louisville.