PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – The Butler baseball team ended the 2014 regular season by splitting a doubleheader at Villanova on Saturday afternoon. BU won the first game 4-2, but fell in game two 3-2. With the loss, the Bulldogs were eliminated from postseason play as they came up one game short of Xavier for the No. 4 seed in the BIG EAST Conference Tournament.
The day started off well with a 4-2 win behind a strong pitching performance from junior Eric Stout. The lefty tossed six full innings and struck out nine. He limited the Wildcats to just one run off four hits. Stout put BU in a good position to win, but it was Will Schierholz that walked away as the winner, improving his overall record to 5-2 on the year. The senior didn't allow a hit, yet was tagged with one run late in the contest.
Pat Guinane was the offensive MVP of game one as his two RBI single in the top of the eighth led BU to victory. Guinane delivered a two-out base knock back up the middle of the field that scored Dan Busch and Chris Maranto. Guinane had entered the game in the top of the sixth inning to pinch hit for Alex Horowitz. He struck out in his first AB, but came back with the timely hit to push the Bulldogs over the top in game one.
The scoring summary started with a single run for Villanova in the bottom of the fourth inning. Brian Trabulsi hit a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Eric Lowe. The run went down as unearned with Lowe moving to third base on a passed ball.
Butler was able to counter with a single run in the top of the fifth as Nick Bartolone delivered a single to right field that allowed Brodie Meyer to score. The next Butler run was generated by Marcos Calderon as his RBI single to left centerfield allowed Caponi to score from second base.
Another sacrifice fly for Villanova would tie the contest as Todd Czinege sent a deep shot to right field. The base-runner would score from third after being walked as the leadoff man. Despite giving up a run without allowing a hit, Schierholz would hang on for the win with Guinane's timely hit.
The BIG EAST baseball plot thickened after game one as Xavier coughed up a 3-1 lead heading into the ninth inning in their matchup vs. Creighton. With a Musketeer win Butler would have been eliminated, but the Bluejays pulled off an extra inning come from behind win to keep Butler alive.
Game two didn't start well for the Bulldog faithful as Nova built a three run lead after seven innings. Quincy Quintero would change the outlook with one swing of the bat as his single to right centerfield would score Caponi and Brodie Meyer making it a one-run game. The comeback try fell short as Butler went down in order in the top of the ninth inning. JB Kole led VU to victory while Matthew Meurer came in to earn his ninth save of the season.
Butler did not record a single extra base hit as Kole limited the Bulldogs to just four hits. Guinane added to his impressive day with two hits in the nightcap. Joining Quintero and Guinane in the hit column was Ryan Wojciechowski.
Billy Laing was tagged with the loss in his final outing of the season. The fifth-year senior tossed seven full innings, ending the game with six strikeouts. Jeff Schank came in for the final inning of action. He allowed two hits, but didn't surrender any runs.
The Bulldogs ended the season with a 20-30 overall record that included a 7-11 mark in their first BIG EAST season. They finished the year ranked fifth in the conference standings after taking two-of-three against Villanova.