INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Senior Jimmy Risi went 3-fort-3 with three RBIs and senior Jack Dillon scored the winning run as the Butler baseball team collected a come-from-behind 5-4 win over Rhode Island on Friday.
Butler (24-22, 11-8) found itself down 4-1 before getting to URI starter Mike Bradstreet in the bottom of the 5th. Freshman Mike Kseniak reached on an error to start the inning and senior Lucas Calderon followed by smoking a single up the middle. With one out, Dillon walked to load the bases. Risi then crushed a fastball into the gap. Kseniak walked home and Calderon and Dillon sprinted in nearly together as Butler tied the game 4-4.
"He left a fastball out over the plate more than he was supposed to," Risi said about the fifth-inning double. "I was sitting fastball and went with it. It turned out well."
Dillon plated the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 7th, an inning where Butler did not record a hit. Dillon walked, his second base on balls of the game to lead off the frame. Risi was plunked, then forced on a double-play ball. After senior Radley Haddad walked with Dillon on third, Rhode Island committed a passed ball to allow Dillon to score.
Butler's bullpen preserved the win. Sophomore Kyle Allen was the winning pitcher after an easy 7th inning. He faced four batters and threw seven pitches before BU took the lead. Senior Chase Byerly slammed the door on Rhode Island with two hitless innings. It was Byerly's eighth save of the season.
In addition to scoring the winning run and walking twice, Dillon made two standout plays in right field. He caught a ball with his back to the fence in the 5th. His diving catch in the top of the 3rd saved at least two runs.
Risi, batting a team-best .353 with 18 doubles, went 3-for-3 with three RBIs. He reached base in all four of his plate appearances. Dillon scored two runs. Kseniak had an RBI and scored a run.
Rhode Island (28-22, 12-7), the A-10's statistical leader in pitching, took the loss despite having an 11-7 edge in hits. Pat Fortunato was 4-for-5 with two RBIs. Mike LeBel and Chris Famiglietti each had two hits.
Butler and Rhode Island will play Saturday at 2 p.m. The game time was pushed back to 2 due to Butler's commencement ceremony.