March 22, 2008
Indianapolis, Ind. - Junior right-hander Ryan Kruszka held the Youngstown State offense to just three hits and the Butler bats supported the effort with a strong performance at the plate in claiming a 4-1 victory in the opening game of a double-header on Saturday (March 22) at Bulldog Park. YSU would ruin the chance of a series sweep, however, rallying for two runs late in the second contest of a 2-1 defeat.
The split gives the Bulldogs a 2-1 mark in the Horizon League and a 3-11 overall record.
The Bulldogs tacked on two more in the fourth. After getting hit by the first pitch of the inning, Kyle McLaughlin took second on a sac bunt and came around on a Joe Pauley double to right. Colin Ziegel followed with a double of his own to left to plate Pauley and give Butler a 3-0 advantage.
YSU cut into the lead with a single run in the sixth, but the Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single by Jason Jamerson that scored Pauley from second.
Kruszka pitched a brilliant seven innings, allowing just an unearned run while striking out six and walking just two. Joe Ochs worked a hitless final two innings for his first save of the year.
Pauley finished the game with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate while adding two runs and an RBI. Jamerson added two hits and an RBI.
The timely hitting that keyed the Bulldogs win in the opening game evaded the team in the closing contest, as Butler was held to just a single run in the first inning despite collecting eight hits.
Southpaw Bryan Bokowy threw a convincing 7 1/3 innings, allowing just four hits while striking out seven and walking only one.
Butler got some clutch hitting in the opening frame, as Grant Fillipitch and McLaughlin collected back-to-back two-out singles before Ryan Neat stroked a double to right center that scored Fillipitch but saw McLaughlin gunned down at the plate.
The Bulldogs would have their chances to build on the early lead, getting lead-off hits in the fourth, fifth and seventh, but Butler would come up empty on the scoreboard.
A pair of one-out RBI hits in the eighth by the Penguins, meanwhile, would chase Bokowy and put YSU in front for good.
Neat and Luke Duncan each posted two hits a piece in the game.