INDIANAPOLIS - Freshman Austin Miller drove in five runs and junior Jimmy Risi homered as the Butler baseball team struck for seven late runs in a 14-9 loss to UIC on Friday. The two teams combined for 28 hits - including three home runs - in the slugfest.
UIC controlled much of the game before the Dawgs got one run in the 7th, five in the 8th and one more in the 9th.
Miller had an RBI on a squeeze early in the game and then smacked an RBI single in the bottom of the 7th. His three-run double keyed a 5-spot for the Bulldogs in the 8th. The other big blow in the 8th inning was a bomb off the scoreboard in right by Risi. It was his Horizon League-leading eighth home run of the year.
UIC scored 11 runs over five innings to lead 11-2 after six frames. Joe Betcher was the difference, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and eight RBIs. He hit a three-run homer to left in the 6th inning and another in the 8th. Andy Grunenwald went 4-for-4 and scored four runs, batting just ahead of Betcher in the lineup.
With the game tied 2-2, UIC scored three times in the top of the 3rd to pull ahead 5-2. The Flames added two runs in the top of the 5th and four more in the 6th. Betcher's homer in the 8th gave UIC a 14-3 lead.
Flames starter Joey Begel improved to 5-3 on the year with 7.0 solid innings. He scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs. Butler punished UIC reliever Mike Schoolcraft for five runs on five hits in the 8th. Begel was in command of the game before tiring a bit around the 90-pitch mark. He left after delivering 103 pitches.
Butler and UIC are scheduled to play Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. Senior lefty Brad Schnitzer will start opposite UIC freshman Brian Evak on the mound.