April 12, 2008
Indianapolis, Ind. - The Bulldogs put up a pair of strong showings in double-header action against Wright State on Saturday (April 12) afternoon at Bulldog Park, but the Raiders would rally late in the first game for a 5-4 decision before taking a 4-3 win in the second after holding off a ninth-inning Butler surge.
Butler got an outstanding effort on the hill from Ryan Kruszka in the opener, as the Bulldog right-hander allowed just a second-inning run while scattering seven hits in eight innings. He set down the first two batters in all but one of the frames, with five of the hits coming only after two outs.
The Bulldog offense, meanwhile, put the junior pitcher in line for the win with four runs on nine hits.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Butler got back-to-back singles by Kyle McLaughlin and Kyle Schultz to put runners on first and second. A strikeout and a fielders choice by Michael Letzter moved McLaughlin to third before a walk by Jason Jamerson loaded the bases with two down.
Joe Pauley followed Jamerson and delivered a clutch two-run single back up the middle to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
Butler continued to build on the lead, as a two-out home run to right by Grant Fillipitch, the first of his career, pushed the lead to 3-1 in the fifth before the Bulldogs manufactured a run in the sixth. McLaughlin led off with a single to right before moving to second on a sac bunt by Schultz. Alex Montagano followed with a single up the middle to bring McLaughlin to give Butler a 4-1 lead.
The score would remain unchanged until the top of the ninth, when Wright State would erupt for four runs on four hits to take a 5-4 lead before getting three straight outs in the bottom of the frame to seal the comeback win.
Wright State jumped to a 4-0 lead in the second contest with two-spots in the first and third innings and never trailed despite a valiant last-inning rally attempt by the Bulldogs.
Butler had a chance to cut into the deficit in the sixth, as Pauley led off with a double before Jamerson drew a one-out walk to put Bulldogs at first and second. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base with still only one out, but Wright State pitcher Rylan Ostrosky struck out the next two Butler hitters to end the threat.
The Bulldogs would finally get on the board in the seventh, as a single by Montagano and walks by Jamerson and Pauley loaded the bases with two outs for Ryan Neat, who hit a chopper to third that evaded the third baseman for a run-scoring fielding error. A strike out would again end the inning.
The game would remain at 4-1 until the bottom of the ninth. Jamerson led off the frame with a single up the middle before being lifted for pinch runner Luke Duncan. Rick Betsch followed with a single to third, but an errant throw on the play by the third baseman allowed Duncan to motor to third.
Pauley stepped up next and hit a deep fly to right that scored Duncan.
After Neat walked to put runners on first and second, Colin Ziegel, who needed a hit to extend his team-leading hitting streak to 10, delivered by lining the first pitch he saw through the right side to bring in Betsch.
The Bulldogs would get no closer, however, as Wright State induced an inning ending grounder to preserve the win.
After battling through trouble in the first three innings, Butler starter Jeff Sinkiewicz settled in to work a strong eight innings, holding the Raiders scoreless while yielding just five hits in the final five frames while allowing the Bulldogs to get back into the game.
Butler returns to action on Wednesday (April 16) when it closes out its five-game home-stand against Cincinnati beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Bulldog Park.