Offense Erupts As Bulldogs Surge Past IPFW, 18-7

Fort Wayne, Ind. - Freshman Blaine DeCamp tied a Butler record with five hits and the Bulldogs jumped for season-highs with 18 runs and 16 hits en route to a 18-7 thumping of host IPFW on Wednesday (April 8) afternoon at Mastodon Field.

Butler broke open a 4-4 contest through four innings by scoring 14 over the next three frames - including eight in the seventh inning alone.

IPFW took an early lead in the game, scoring a run on a two-out solo home run in the opening frame.

The Bulldogs came right back to tie the contest in the second, however, as DeCamp led off with a single to the pitcher, moved to second on a single by Kyle Schultz and third on a walk by Colin Ziegel before coming home on an RBI fielder's choice by Jason Jamerson.

Butler jumped ahead to 4-1 in the third after DeCamp and Schultz picked up back-to-back RBI singles and Griffin Richeson added a sacrifice fly. The lead would be short-lived, though, as the Mastodons plated a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning before picking up the tying mark in the fourth.

The game would not stay close much longer, as Butler tallied 11 hits to bring in 14 runs over the ensuing three innings to take an insurmountable 18-4 advantage through seven.

Ziegel got the scoring started with an RBI single to center in the fifth before Luke Duncan brought two in on a single of his own later in the inning. Butler picked up three more in the sixth thanks to an RBI double by Schultz, another RBI hit by Ziegel and an error by the IPFW left fielder that allowed an unearned run to score - the only one of the game.

The Bulldogs would then send 13 men to the plate in the seventh and capitalized on four clutch hits, four walks and two hit batsmen to bring in eight runs.

Duncan and Betsch led off the inning with walks before moving to second and third on a sac bunt by Grant Fillipitch. DeCamp brought Duncan across with a single to right before Schultz loaded the bases after earning an intentional free pass.

The wildness by the IPFW pitching staff continued, as Richeson picked up an RBI on a walk of his own. Ziegel forced in another run on an infield single to short, while Jamerson and Letzter notched RBI after being hit by pitches.

Duncan returned to the plate and drove in a pair of runs on a single to right, before Betsch closed out the scoring with a sacrifice fly to left.

When the dust had finally settled, the Bulldogs had a 14-run advantage and were well on their way to back-to-back wins for just the second time this year.

Right-hander Ryan Kruszka picked up the win in relief, striking out two in a perfect fifth inning. Jeff Sinkiewicz added a perfect sixth inning, while Dom Silvestri allowed just one hit in scoreless seventh.

With his 5-for-7 performance at the plate, DeCamp became just the 12th player in school history and the first since Fillipitch last season to collect five hits in a game. He also added four runs scored and a pair of RBI.

Schultz reached base on all six of his plate appearances, going 3-for-3 with three walks, three runs scored and two RBI. Ziegel added a 3-for-4 mark, a pair of walks, three runs and three RBI, while Duncan chipped in a game-high four RBI on two hits.

Fillipitch picked up two hits of his own, while Betsch scored twice after drawing three free passes.

Butler opens a big three-game series on Saturday (April 11) when it hosts Horizon League foe UIC in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 noon at Bulldog Park.