Cincinnati, Ohio - Butler rallied for three runs in the fifth inning against host Cincinnati en route to a 5-3 victory in the opening contest of a doubleheader on Wednesday (May 6) evening at Marge Schott Stadium. An early Bulldog lead in the nightcap would not hold up, however, as the Bearcats scored four runs late to claim a 6-3 decision.
The Bulldogs struck for single runs in both the third and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead on the Bearcats in the opener. Alex Montagano scored an unearned run after reaching on a throwing error, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by Griffin Richeson and scoring on a two-out double down the right field line by Luke Duncan.
Michael Letzter added another run in the fourth, turning on a 1-2 pitch and sending a deep fly over the fence in left center for his third home run of the season.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher Mike Hernandez held the Bearcats scoreless on just one hit through the first three innings.
Cincinnati would break through in the bottom of the frame, however, taking advantage of three hits and a Butler fielding error to bring the contest back to even at 2-2.
The UC rally would not faze the Bulldogs, though, as Montagano and Richeson reached on back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third for Duncan, who delivered a deep fly to right that allowed Montagano to come across with the go-ahead run.
The Bearcats would rally for a run in the bottom of the seventh, but the comeback would fall short.
Hernandez picked up his third win of the season, allowing just two runs on four hits in four innings. Ryan Kruszka allowed a hit in two scoreless innings of relief before Jeff Sinkiewicz earned his first save of the year in the seventh.
Richeson collected two hits, Duncan and Fillipitch each picked up a pair of RBI and Montagano scored twice.
The Bulldogs got off to a similar start to the finale, scoring single runs in the first and third to take a 2-0 advantage.
Kyle Schultz delivered the big hit in the opening frame, driving an RBI single to left center to score Fillipitch from second. Two innings later, Duncan roped a lead-off triple to the gap in right center before coming home on a ground ball to the second baseman by Betsch.
Cincinnati cut the Butler lead in half with a run in the bottom of the inning, but the Bulldogs came back in the fourth thanks to a two-out RBI single by Montagano.
The Bearcats would take over from there, however, scoring five unanswered runs - including two in each the fifth and sixth innings - to come away with the split.
Starting pitcher Matt Sokolowski worked a strong four innings, allowing just two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking none.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (May 9) when it hosts Milwaukee in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 noon at Bulldog Park.