INDIANAPOLIS – The Butler baseball team found plenty of offense but fell victim to a couple of big innings in a pair of losses to Buffalo Saturday afternoon at Bulldog Park. Buffalo won both games 9-7 and took three of four in the series.
Junior Kevin Crane led the Bulldogs in the doubleheader by going 3-for-7 with three doubles and three RBIs. Junior Grant Fillipitch also had three runs driven in on the day and junior catcher Michael Letzter homered in the second game.
In game one, which was a schedule 7-inning game, Buffalo (9-8) put up six runs in the top of the 2nd inning to put Butler in a big hole early. The first two batters of the inning doubled, and after a sac fly made it 2-0 the next two batters singled. The next batter, Buffalo’s leadoff man Brad Augustin, walked and then the next hitter singled to score the fourth run. Another single made it 5-0 and chased Butler starter Jared Wagoner after 1.1 innings. A double by the Bulls’ Jacob Rosenbeck provided the sixth and final run.
The Bulldogs wouldn’t go quietly, picking up three runs in the bottom of the 5th and another run in the 6th. In the 5th, junior Kyle Waggoner delivered an RBI double and Fillipitch dropped a two-run single with two outs. But before the Bulldogs could continue their rally, Buffalo scored three times in the top of the 6th, aided by a dropped fly ball. Crane doubled and scored in the bottom of the 6th as Butler pulled to within 9-4.
In the last of the 7th, Butler rallied for three more runs. Junior Corey Moylan smacked a two-run double and then scored on another double by Crane to make things interesting. Butler was now trailing 9-7 and had a runner on 2nd base. After a pitching change, senior Kyle Schultz flied out hard to center to end the game.
Butler was led in game one by Crane (2-for-3, 2 2Bs, walk, RBI), junior Luke Duncan (2-for-4, run) and Moylan (two-run double and scored a run). On the mound, freshman Chase Byerly gave 3.2 shutout innings.
Game two was similar to game one in that Buffalo struck for another big inning early only to hold a Butler rally. Leading 2-0, the Bulls scored five runs in the top of the 5th to open a 7-0 lead. Letzter led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo homer to pull BU to within 7-1.
Butler then struck for a big inning of its own, scoring six runs in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game 7-7. Sophomore Nick Hladek had a pinch-hit, two-run single in the inning and freshman Andrew Eckhardt also delivered a pinch-hit RBI single. After the Bulldog had racked up four runs, Crane smacked his third double of the day, a two-run shot to center that scored Eckhardt and Fillipitch.
Buffalo would win the game with two runs in the top of the 8th, as Charlie Karstedt hit a home run and David Neff tripled and scored.
Crane and Hladek had two RBIs each to lead the Bulldogs in game two, while Letzter scored two runs.
The Bulldogs (5-10) have five games on the schedule this coming week. BU will host Cincinnati Tuesday, March 23 and play Marian Wednesday, March 24. BU has a home series against Youngstown State next weekend.