April 4, 2008
Chicago, Ill. - Junior southpaw Matt Sokolowski tossed a gem of a game and senior shortstop Joe Pauley tallied the first run of the contest with a ninth-inning home run, but a two-run bottom of the frame by host UIC spoiled Butler's chance for a win as the Flames came away with a 2-1 decision at Les Miller Field on Friday (April 4) evening.
The loss sends the Bulldogs to 6-15 on the year and 3-4 in Horizon League play, while UIC improves to 16-9 overall and 6-1 in the league.
After last weekend's league series against Milwaukee that yielded 78 runs in three games, the Bulldogs found themselves locked up in a pitcher's dual with the league-leading Flames, as the two sides battled through scoreless baseball for the first eight innings.
Sokolowski was dominant in the contest for the Bulldogs, holding UIC without a hit for the first four innings and just two in over seven frames while working three-ball counts to only two hitters all night.
UIC's Derrick Miramontes went toe-to-toe with Sokolowski, however, holding the Bulldogs scoreless through the first eight innings.
Pauley came to the rescue for Butler in the top of the ninth, turning on a 1-2 pitch and sending his third home run of the season over the left field fence for the first scoring of the game and a 1-0 Bulldog lead.
In line for the win, Sokolowski came back out in the bottom of the frame to try to close out the contest, but after a fielding error and a hit batsman put two runners on with no outs, the lefty gave way to junior Evan DePotter.
DePotter put one away on a strikeout, but a double-steal by the Flames moved two runners into scoring position. The Flames' Jason Ganek followed with a fly ball to right that appeared to be deep enough for a game-tying sacrifice fly, but the right fielder was unable to corral the pop up, allowing the winning runs to cross home.
Sokolowski was the hard-luck loser in the game, allowing two unearned runs on four hits in eight-plus innings.
Pauley and freshman Michael Letzter each collected two hits in the contest.
Butler returns to action on Saturday (April 5) when it battles the host Flames in a double-header beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET.