Bulldogs Split Pair At St. Bonaventure

Bulldogs Split Pair At St. Bonaventure
Marco Caponi

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. - The Butler baseball team improved to 4-1 in Atlantic 10 play with a doubleheader split at St. Bonaventure on Saturday afternoon. 

The Bulldogs used some key extra-base hits - highlighted by a two-run homer by junior Marco Caponi - in the middle innings of the first game to win 9-6. Conversely, St. Bonaventure strung together several singles for big innings to take the nightcap over the Dawgs 8-3.

Senior Jimmy Risi, batting cleanup, struck for a 3-for-4 effort and scored two runs. He reached base four times in the game, adding a hit batsman in the top of the 1st. Caponi and Patrick Guinane each drove in three runs for Butler (12-11).

 Caponi's two-run blast to left in the top of the 4th broke a scoreless tie and got the Bulldogs' bats rolling. Guinane followed with a two-run triple in the 5th to make it 4-0. Back to the top of the order in the 6th, Butler hit three straight doubles to plate two more runs. Senior Jack Dillon hit an RBI double down the left-field line and Risi pulled one down the right-field line and BU led 6-0. 

Senior Radley Haddad walked and scored on a double by Guinane, who stole third base and scored on a Caponi groundout. Leading 8-2 in the 8th, the Bulldogs tacked on an unearned run. SBU scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th but the Bonnies' rally fell short as Butler improved to 4-0 in conference play.

Sophomore Eric Stout (5-2) was the winning pitcher, pitching 7.0 innings. Senior Chase Byerly retired five of the six batters he faced for his fifth save. 

The bats went cold in the second game, as Butler was held to three runs on six hits. BU took a 1-0 lead early when Guinane walked and scored, but the Bonnies put together six singles in the bottom of the 4th to lead 4-1. Freshman Drew Small hit a two-run homer to left in the top of the 5th to pull BU to 4-3.

Leading 5-3 in the 7th, the host Bonnies got a three-run homer from pinch hitter Mark Hutmacher to take an 8-3 lead. The Bonnies held on by retiring nine of Butler's last 10 batters. The Bulldogs went down in order to reliever Asa Johnson in the final two innings.

Butler was led by Small, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and the home run. Hutmacher drove in four runs off the bench for the Bonnies (6-12, 1-4). 

Butler and St. Bonaventure will conclude the weekend series Sunday, March 31 at 10 a.m. The game was supposed to be at noon but was moved two hours sooner due to impending weather.