Photo Gallery (Photos by Olivia Walter)
INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler baseball team split a pair of close games against Wright State Sunday afternoon, claiming game one, 6-5, before falling 5-3 in the nightcap.
BU's win over the Raiders pulled Wright State from the lead in the Horizon League standings. Valparaiso, which was Butler's Saturday opponent, now has a half-game lead over the Raiders.
In game one, sophomore Andrew Eckhardt hit a two-run home run to key a five-run 2nd inning. Senior Michael Letzter added a two-run double and junior Griffin Richeson smacked an RBI single to left in the inning, which gave Butler a 6-1 lead.
WSU chipped away at the lead and pulled to within 6-5 in the 6th inning. The Raiders put the tying run on third but sophomore closer Chase Byerly slammed the door shut by getting the final two outs.
Letzter had three RBIs in the first game to lead Butler. Eckhardt scored twice and drove in two runs. Richeson finished 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Senior Jared Wagoner went 6.1 innings for the win. He struck out four, walked two and scattered seven hits. The save was Byerly's fourth.
Wright State answered with three runs in the top of the 3rd, with the highlight being a triple by Tristan Moore. The Raiders took a 5-3 lead in the 4th inning and used stellar relief pitching to hang on for the win. Taylor Braun and Michael Schum combined to work 7.0 innings of shutout relief, allowing just two hits.
BU (17-21, 6-10 HL) is back at home this weekend, hosting a three-game set with Cleveland State. Butler has a doubleheader against CSU Saturday, May 7 and a single game the next day.