Bulldogs Take Series Finale From Georgetown
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. - The day began with Butler paying tribute to the seniors on this year's baseball squad. It ended with those seniors leading the Bulldogs to a 7-6 come-from-behind victory over Gerogetown in the final game of a three-game BIG EAST series.
The dramatic win at Bulldog Park on Sunday (May 11) boosted Butler's hopes for a berth in the BIG EAST Championship. The Bulldogs (18-29, 5-10 BIG EAST) currently sit fifth in the league standings, two game behind fourth place Xavier with three games to play. The top four teams in the final standings advance to the conference tournament, and Butler does hold the tie-breaker with the Musketeers.
Butler's "Senior Day" couldn't have been scripted any better. With the score tied at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth inning, senior Pat Guinane came up with a one-out single to center field. He stole second and advanced to third on a long fly ball to right field by Chris Marras. Senior shortstop Marco Caponi then came up with a clutch two-out single that narrowly eluded three fielders in center field to plate the game-winner.
Senior right-hander Will Schierholz, who came on in relief of starter Eric Stout in the eighth inning, retired the Hoyas in order in the ninth to pick up his third win of the season. He put the finishing touch on the victory by striking out Georgetown's Beau Hall for the final out.
"A senior scores the winning run, a senior gets the wining RBI and a senior gets the final out on the mound. It doesn't get any better for our guys," said Butler head coach Steve Farley after the the key BIG EAST win.
The Bulldogs, who had dropped the first two games of the series to Georgetown, wasted little time jumping in front before a "Mothers' Day" crowd. A walk to Nick Bartolone and a single by Quincy Quintero brought Ryan Wojciechowski to the plate. The Bulldogs' first baseman then saluted the Butler moms with a long shot over the left field fence, his second home run of the season.
Butler made it 4-0 in the second inning when Guinane reached on an error, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, moved third on a single by Caponi and scored on an infield ground out by Austin Miller.
Stout cruised through the first two innings, but ran into a rough stretch in the third. The Hoyas (19-28, 5-13 BIG EAST), on the strength of a single, a walk, three consecutive doubles and a two-out single plated five runs to take the lead.
But Stout bounced back to hold Georgetown in check for the next four innings.
"I think the key was Eric Stout having the composure to get through a five-run inning," noted Farley. "He made a couple of bad pitches and Georgetown has a good hitting team. That was a tough inning for him, but he battled back and put up some zeroes and kept us in the game.
Butler tied the game in the fifth inning on Wojciechowski's sacrifice fly, and the Bulldogs regained the lead in the seventh on a solo home run by Marcos Calderon. It was his team-best third home run of the season.
But the Hoyas knotted the game in the top of the eighth with a clutch two-out single, setting the stage for Butler's seniors down the stretch.
Stout pitched seven innings and allowed five runs. He had eight strikeouts and four walks. Schierholz tossed the final two frames and had one strikeout and one walk.
Wojciechowski led Butler's attack with four runs batted in, while Caponi had a pair of hits in the win.
Butler will close out the regular season schedule with four consecutive road games. The Bulldogs will play a non-conference game at Eastern Illinois on Tuesday, before traveling to Philadelphia, Pa., for a crucial three-game series with Villanova, May 15-17.