Butler Completes 5-0 Week With Win Over Fordham
INDIANAPOLIS - Senior lefty Kevin Lenkman gave 8.0 strong innings and Butler completed a weekend sweep of Fordham with a 4-1 win on Sunday at Bulldog Park.
The win lifted Butler (22-18, 10-5) to 5-0 for the week and firmly into contention for a conference tournament spot.
"It was a big week," Sunday's winning pitcher said. "We needed all five wins and it's big for our confidence. It's big for us heading into next week's series at Charlotte."
Lenkman, now 2-2 on the year, allowed just one run on five hits and walked a batter in one of his best outings as a Butler pitcher. He struck out six and only had three pitches get hit out of the infield all day.
"Everything today was working," Lenkman said. "It was the first time in a while I've had my fastball, changeup and slider working completely together."
It rained overnight in Indianapolis and the field was prepared under a steady drizzling rainfall. Lenkman said the morning's wet field conditions didn't affect him.
"The baseballs were all pretty dry. It was a little wet, but other than that, it was normal," he said.
BU capitalized on Fordham mistakes to take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd. A hit batter and a pair of walks set the table for the Bulldogs, as senior Lucas Calderon was plunked leading off while down 1-2 in the count. He would score on an RBI groundout by sophomore Michael Fries. Senior Jimmy Risi and Radley Haddad added RBI singles and the Dawgs had give Lenkman all the runs he would need.
Leading 3-1, Butler executed a double steal with runners at the corners. Risi, on base after drawing a walk, broke for second base with Fries on third. Risi drew a throw and Fries broke for home, sliding in safe to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage. Fries had doubled earlier in the inning.
Junior Gunner Johnson worked a quick top of the 9th for his third save. Risi finished 2-for-3 with a run and RBI. He also walked once. As a team, Butler drew six walks and also were hit by a pitch twice.
The Bulldogs will play their next five games away from home, beginning with a Tuesday, April 30 contest at Bellarmine. Bellarmine is coached by former Butler assistant Matt Tyner. Butler will play at Charlotte May 3-5.