SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Senior Grant Fillipitch went 3-for-4 and fell a triple short of a cycle and the Butler baseball team defeated USC-Upstate, 10-9, Sunday afternoon. The victory was BU's first of the 2011 season.
Fillipitch walked, homered, doubled and singled as Butler scored 10 runs in a game for the first time this season. Senior outfielder Kyle Waggoner added a 3-for-5 effort with two RBIs.
"Out hitters really broke out today and did a nice job," head coach Steve Farley said. "After losing a tough game Saturday to Gardner-Webb where we basically beat ourselves, I wasn't sure how the guys would bounce back. But they did a heckuva job and it's nice to close the weekend with a win."
The two teams went back and forth throughout the day and the Bulldogs survived a drama-filled 9th inning. Freshmen Zach Sizemore and Marcos Calderon each walked and scored in the top of the 9th to give BU a 10-8 lead. The Spartans didn't go quietly, putting runners on second and third with no outs. Butler pitcher Chase Byerly then got a double play where Sizemore threw out a Spartan runner at the plate.
USC-Upstate then scored on a single to make it 10-9. Byerly then fanned the Spartans' No. 3 hitter to end the game. Sophomore Joel Leichty (1-0) got the win in relief and Byerly got his first save.
Butler's big inning was the top of the 5th, when BU plated four runs. Butler got doubles from Fillipitch and Sizemore in the frame. Waggoner added an RBI single in addition to an Upstate error extending the inning.
Butler (1-3) also got a strong effort on the mound from senior righty Dom Silvestri. The 6-5 senior worked 6.1 innings, struck out four and kept the Bulldogs in the game.
"Dom gave us a good effort. We were hoping one of our pitchers this weekend would be able to give us 6+ innings," Farley said. "He probably had the best game of our starting pitchers this weekend."
Butler is scheduled to host IPFW Tuesday, March 1 at Bulldog Park.